The following opinion piece was sent to the BRegs Blog by a specialist conservation architect on December 3rd 2015.
There is an alternative opinion on this topic which suggests gaps in the new regulations. Because planning for Protected Structures only came into 2000 Planning Act and SI.9 only refers to Planning Regulations 1963-93 (now revoked), it could well be that quite an amount of minor works (to protected structures) that require planning permission under the 2000 Act may be undertaken using the short form commencement notice and may not require the services of design or assigned certifiers. We would be interested in getting further input on this from specialist conservation professionals and readers of the Blog.
SI.9 + Protected Structures
We explained the position in which we and our clients find ourselves in connection with the new building control regulations.
- There is no dispensation from the full or long Commencement Notice under SI 9, Article 2 resulting from the requirement for a Fire Safety Certificate for a Place of Public Assembly and the fact that the small extension marginally exceeds the 40 m sq limit.
- Under SI. 243.2012 article 4. No Building Energy Rating is required for a Protected Structure or Place of Worship, therefore no DEAP study nor Part L compliance is required.
In other words the long and short of it is that if any works to a protected structure of any type exceed 40 sq metres then a long form of commencement notice and the concomitant additional fees and additional costs on the construction side occur. The difficulty of obtaining even meagre funds is ever present for this type of work.
The same applies to any works to a protected structure if a Fire Safety Certificate is required regardless of size.
In the case of reconstruction to a Monument of Record, the building works are exempted from the Building Regulations but not from the BCAR.
This is all very confusing and there are no straightforward nor logical answers to any of this. Whether we like it or not the BCA Regulations will have an ongoing effect on most if not all conservation work in terms of time and expense.
In our view all works to Protected Structures should be exempted from the Long form of Commencement Notice under the BCAR. They shall comply with Part B where possible and be subject to a Fire Safety Certificate and DACs in connection with public access. The works, as at present, shall be designed and specified by an accredited Conservation Architect, be subject to the approval of the Conservation and Planning Authorities and the Department if needs be.
The very nature of older buildings mitigate against predictable outcomes as covered in the Building Regulations.
I suspect that the present arrangements will present Conservation Officers with long term difficulties. We are left floundering around without direction and our impecunious clients searching for funds to satisfy a bureaucratic monster. It would be great if you can raise the awareness of these issues with your colleagues and the Department, for the necessity for the Assigned Certifier to Certify compliance with the Building Regulations in say, works attached to or connected with an ancient structure is patently a nonsense.
Other posts of interest: