Building Control LA are saying I cannot use a private firm

26 Aug 2007
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United Kingdom

I have applied for building control from my local authority, the planning permission has however been approved, we are just at the building control stage now. I always planned to use a private building inspector from day 1, the reason being that If i pay a little more for the service, I can hopefully get better efficiency.

My understanding was that after making the application to the council, and they approve it, I can then get a private inspector on board.

To my surprise, I called the council today to ask when the building control stuff will be approved, they have said that statutory time is mid next month, the application has been with them for a month now. They also state that I am not allowed to use a private inspector, that since the application was lodged with them, they have to approve it, and they have to inspect it. They said, If i want private building inspector, then I have to cancel/withdraw the application and then start with a private firm from scratch.

Is it me getting my wires crossed here ?

Please help.
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Before all this, you should have gone straight to a private inspector without contacting LABC.
As long as you have not started work on site, I'm pretty sure you should be OK to go private, but you will loose money you have paid to the council.
If it was me, at this point I'd just go with the LABC (although obviously I wouldn't have got to 'this point')
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I've only ever used LABC (5 extensions in...) so I wonder what I'm missing out on!
I've used both. If you get a council jobsworth it can be a nightmare arguing things like cavity trays on a solid wall.

On the other hand the private firms can do so little it's a waste of money. Just a rubber stamp.
I've worked with good and bad BCOs and good and bad AIs. It really is down to the individual.
To the OP you need to do one or the other either LABC or AI not a hybrid of the two. You can't get LABC to approve and then AI to carry out the inspection.
If you have already paid your money to LABC I would stick with them, if you really are in such a hurry then maybe see if you can change your full regs to a building notice and then bombard the inspector with loads of questions about the later stages of your build.

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