This is the first in a series “Look Back” Posts which will re-publish older papers and opinion pieces that are still relevant to the evolving situation post-implementation of BC(A)R SI.9. Some of our more recent followers and readers of the Breg blog and may have missed some previous posts of interest in our 500+ post archive.
In this first post we look again at Ireland and the World Bank Rankings.
The rankings are due to be updated in September 2014 and we wonder whether Ireland’s international ranking for “Dealing with construction permits” has improved from 115th place out of 189 countries surveyed.
The post below was first published on Breg blog on 9th January 2014.
World Bank rankings & BC(A)R SI.9
The World Bank “Doing Business” Report 2014 was mentioned by Minister Richard Bruton in January of 2014 (Irish Times 5/01/14). The construction industry was specifically mentioned as one key area for improvement. Currently we rank 115th out of 189 countries in “Dealing with construction permits”. The UK ranks 27th. Based on the World Bank example of a 1300 SqM production/warehouse building, the cost of statutory permissions (planning and building control) in the UK are less than 15% the cost of our system here. A key cost of an integral component to our recovery, foreign direct investment and job creation (warehouse & manufacturing space) is over 5 times more expensive here than across the water.
The cost to obtain all relevant statutory permissions for this one building type in the UK is a little over €19,000 and takes much less time. This cost includes 100% independent building inspections by a licensed building inspector. The cost for a similar building in Ireland is over €130,000 (incl. planning levies) and takes considerably longer.
In 2012 the UK looked into improving their building control system, already frequently quoted in the World Bank report as being one of the better examples in the world. The “Communities and Local Government: Proposed changes to the building control system – Consultation stage impact assessment” (download and read here) produced in 2012, comprehensively examined several options to revise and change the UK building control system. Their existing system, unlike ours, already has comprehensive local authority independent inspections (with 80% of housing backed by warranty). Our own regulatory impact assessment was quite inadequate in comparison (see post ” Inadequate Regulatory assessment for SI.80″ here).
The UK report also examined the Irish 100% self-certification system as a option but discounted this due to considerable extra cost to the consumer and to the wider industry over their existing system of independent local authority (and licensed private) inspections.
Rather than improving efficiency and reducing costs, the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulation, SI9 may delay projects by up to 21 more days on completion, cost significantly more and give no added benefit to the consumer. (See previous posts on costs here). One wonders where our ranking will slide to by 2015.
The above opinion piece was submitted by Maoilíosa Mel Reynolds on 9th January 2014.
Other posts of interest: