Easing of building regulations welcome


The easing of building regulations in respect of one-off houses was welcomed today by Galway East TD Paul Connaughton, who said that the easing of oversight requirements was necessary to ensure the continuation of vibrant rural communities.
‘The substandard building of apartment complexes in Dublin such as Priory Hall rightly caused a public outcry and highlighted the need for tighter building controls and an improved building inspection regime, but the resulting regulations created unforeseen difficulties for rural families wishing to build their own homes.
‘The problem was never in relation to self-build houses as people intending to live in a house they are creating take great care in terms of the quality of the workmanship, yet it was these families that were experiencing the full brunt of the existing regulations.
‘I very much welcome today’s movement in terms of easing the regulations in respect of one-off housing. One-off homes and extensions will be exempt from regulations requiring the formal sign-off from a building professional to ensure they are built in line with the building code. However, a significant percentage of all new builds, including one-off houses, will be inspected.
‘Home owners, including self-builders will be able to opt out of statutory certification and instead demonstrate by alternative means that they have met their obligations to build according to the regulations.
‘Having met many families in East Galway who were adversely affected by the current regulations, I was in regular contact with Minister Coffey about this issue over the course of the past year and am delighted that a more common-sense approach is to be adopted following today’s announcement.
‘My hope is that the many families who had secured planning permission but were unable to build can now move to the building stage and put down roots in their own local community. I would like to commend Minister Coffey on his common-sense remedy to this issue.’