I propose to take Questions Nos. 551 and 553 together.
A person who intends to carry out building works is required by Article 8 of the Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2014 to give notice in writing of such intention to the local building control authority not less than fourteen days and not more than 28 days before the commencement of the works.
Section 16 of the Building Control Act 1990 makes it an offence for a person to contravene (by act or omission) any requirement of the Act or any requirement of orders or regulations made thereunder. The period in which legal proceedings can take place is limited to five years from the date of the completion of the building or works.
The failure to submit a commencement notice where one is required is a serious matter and may have serious consequences for the development in question. It disables the local building control authority’s ability to fulfil its statutory role in relation to the development. The statutory certificates of compliance introduced on 1 March 2014 refer to the commencement notice and accompanying certified design documentation and cannot therefore cover works which have not been validly commenced. This has implications for an owner’s ability to legally occupy or use a building and may affect the conveyance of the building if it is subject to a commercial transaction.
The statutory powers in relation to this matter rest with the local building control authority which is independent in the use of such powers and I cannot interfere in individual cases. It is open to the owners involved, and any construction professional they may have engaged, to consult with the local building control authority in order to establish what, if any, steps may be open to them at this point.