Has anyone had encountered a situation in which a Building Control Inspector approves the start of a building, which is at variance with the approved Planning Application? In my case, I did not object to my neighbour building an extension to his house as the plan showed a passageway between my boundary and his external wall. However, he has now reduced the passageway to a 300mm gap and dug a foundation trench not in accordance with the plan.

Here in Liverpool, the City Council building control department do not appear to talk to the Planning Department. The foundation trench has been approved by a building inspector, even though it does not conform to the approved plan. When asked about this, the building department say that they only look at the structural requirements and not the approved plan. On the other hand the Planning department say that the structural specification is not in their brief. Both departments seem to be washing their hands of the problem and trying to blame the other for the error. So the question is, is it normal for a Building Control Inspector to ignore the approved plan? What can be done to rectify the situation?

Is this cause for complaint against the Building Control Department and/or something I could take to the Local Government Ombudsman?

  • Mark Brinkley

    I think you have a planning issue here. Notionally, the building control department works as part of (and under) the planning department. Your BI is right – they are there to check for technical competency, not the accuracy of the building lines, although I would have thought they could have at least advised you of the situation. You are not querying the structural specification: your beef is with the building not being the same as the one indicated in the plans.

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