RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)
I am writing to you on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders regarding the status of self-builders from 1st March onwards. Despite numerous written from Minster Phil Hogan to questions asked on our behalf by other TD’s the status of our members remains vague.
We have been informed by attendees that at an Engineer's briefing on January 17th 2014 the consensus view of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Department of the Environment (DOE) and Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (R.I.A.I) representatives was that self-building would no longer be possible from 1st March onwards. Hubert Fitzpartick of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF Director of Housing) confirmed this position that self-building would end on 1st march (interview on January 23rd 2014).
Contrary to this in numerous written answers to TD’s Minister Phil Hogan has stated that self-building can continue as before under SI.9. We have also read recent Local Authority public guidance stating that an owner could elect to be the builder on commencement providing a competent builder sign the completion certificate.
The Director of the R.I.A.I Mr John Graby also stated that self-building was possible under BC(A)R SI.9 in a radio interview on 6th February 2014 on Ocean FM.
We have the unacceptable situation where we have a Minister at odds with his Department with different interpretations of the regulation, the CIF and the R.I.A.I also with different opinions (two key stakeholders) and finally local authorities who have issued different guidelines again on the status of the self-builder under BC(A)R SI.9.
Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 OF 2014) of course has not changed and the completion certificate for a builder states "to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only".
We at Irish Association of Self Builders, have sought independent legal advice on the status of self-builders under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). Our legal advisor confirmed that the sentence "to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only" is the applicable section that has been signed into law. If that sentence is not removed or changed to include building owner, then the building owner may find themselves with legal actions taken by or against them should they go ahead and sign the certificate as the builder. The document Building Control (Amendment) Regulation SI.9 of 2014 was passed in to law by the Minister on the 15th of January 2014 and it can not be changed for individual cases.
On behalf of our members we request that the R.I.A.I formally correct previous statements concerning the status of the self-builder made by Mr Graby; we believe these statements are misleading and bring the R.I.A.I into disrepute. We will also be requesting a formal correction from Minister Hogan and the local authorities that have issued conflicting and misrepresentative advice on this matter also. Why we are not afforded the courtesy of a correct and legally accurate response and guidance to our one simple question “can self-building continue after 1st March”? What has been given up to now is not acceptable to our members and to the citizens of this country affected by this legislation.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Shane McCloud Irish Association of self Builders www.iaosb.com