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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Building Control news and updates

Latest news

A new Manual to the Building Regulations

The UK Government has issued a new 'Manual to the Building Regulations', a short guide that gives an outline on how the building regulations system in England works.

The manual is aimed at a range of audiences: from homeowners planning home improvements to sole tradespeople, builders, architects and building control professionals.

The first half of the guide, Volume 1, gives an outline of how the system currently works and Volume 2 provides additional guidance and is geared towards people working in construction.

Landmark building safety law

The government is set to publish its landmark Bill, this will make residents safer in their homes. See the news release for further information.

Changing Places toilets for severely disabled people to be compulsory in new public buildings

See the changes to building rules in England. This will help add larger accessible toilets to more than 150 buildings a year.

Changes to planning permitted development regulations

The government has announced changes to planning permitted development regulations from 1 August. It is important to note that these changes are with reference to Permitted Development rules under the planning process. Building Regulation applications, site inspection requests and Demolitions notices under the Building Act should still be submitted to the Building Control team in the normal way. Please contact the area offices team to discuss your Building Regulation application.

Amendments to Approved Document B (Fire Safety) 

The Government have published Amendments to Approved Document B of the Building Regulations (Fire Safety). See this LABC news article for further information

Building regulations - temporary arrangements for site inspection notifications (posted on 18 March 2020)

As a result of the Government’s announcement of measures to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, it has been necessary to review our current inspection arrangements for works under construction.

You will have received your project specific inspection regime which indicates the inspection stages that you should notify us of during construction. Please ensure that you notify us at commencement and when all other inspection stages have been reached. 

Please continue to notify us of each inspection stage by contacting your Dorset Council Building Control area office team: Building Control contact information . Include a phone number and site details in your email so we can make contact with you about the visit.

You will be asked whether anyone at the site has been advised to self-isolate or has recently returned from overseas travel to an affected area. We will decide on a case by case basis whether a site inspection is essential and we will contact you if we are unable to attend.

See our details about the service changes the council has made regarding COVID-19. These temporary arrangements will remain in place until such time that the Government advises us that normal business arrangements can resume.

Fire safety

Following the major incident in London at Grenfell Tower, Dorset Building Control would like to reassure residents that we are working closely with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure the safety of flats in Dorset.

We suggest residents look at the advice given on Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service website. Please contact the Fire Service or your Building Control for any further information.

Septic tanks

If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water outfall, you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020, or when you sell your property if before this date.

If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank is discharging to a surface water outfall which is causing pollution, you will need to replace or upgrade your system earlier than 1 January 2020. You will usually have to do this within 1 year, although this will be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

Find out more about septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants

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