Parliamentary committee takes evidence on Scottish building regulations

planning stockMSPs have taken evidence from construction professionals on whether the current building regulations in Scotland are operating effectively.

During a meeting at the Scottish Parliament, the local government and communities committee discussed if there are widespread problems with new-build homes, if some homes suffer from serious defects and if local authority building standards departments are sufficiently resourced.

At its meeting in February, the committee agreed to launch a call for views and online survey on building regulations in Scotland.

In seeking the construction sector’s experiences of the regulations, the committee was particularly interested in thoughts on the verification scheme and building warrant fees.

Yesterday, the committee took evidence from Ross MacKay, convener, property law committee, at the Law Society of Scotland; Kenny McKenzie from RICS Scotland; Gilly Carr, president elect, Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate of Great Britain (ICWCI) and Glenn Campbell, building standards manager at Highland Council.

In response to witnesses saying that some flaws in building works are hidden from sight, this clip shows committee convenor Bob Doris ask the panel whether a lot of the relationship is based on trust.

Here Elaine Smith MSP talks about “crumbling houses”, the recent issues with school buildings in Scotland and that this is sometimes a “matter or life and death”.

And finally, this clip discusses the skills gap in the building industry and the need to improve apprenticeships “otherwise this could be a difficult situation” or a “crisis” as and lead to “slipping standards” says Alexander Stewart MSP.

The committee received 33 responses to the call for views, all of which can be found here.

Written evidence from RICS Scotland and ICWCI is available here.

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