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February 2024 newsletter

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Welcome to our newsletter, the year of implementation has begun! There are lots of important changes coming into force over the following year across the whole industry. Look out for our seminar being held in the Spring; dates to follow…

The Building Safety Levy consultation is underway

This consultation, which ended on 20 February, sought views on the design and implementation of the Building Safety Levy. The levy will be paid by developers and charged on new residential buildings requiring building control approval in England, for the purpose of meeting building safety expenditure.

Find out more about the Building Safety Levy consultation.

Transitional arrangements for dutyholder responsibilities from 6 April 2024

In April 2024 if works on any building, with an application to building control submitted before October 2023, have not commenced the application will then be subject to the changes in legislation detailed in last month’s newsletter.

In our borough’s this is likely to mean that clients will have to nominate principal designers and contractors and that the dutyholder responsibilities, set out in the building regulations, will apply.

Please also note that these transitional arrangements also apply to higher-risk buildings, meaning if works have not “sufficiently progressed” by 6 April, to an application submitted prior to October 2023, then the application will revert to the building regulator.

Find out more about these changes to the building control process.

Fire doors in loft conversion and new dwelling houses and flats

Following the cessation of the Building Control Alliance this year, the guidance for the use of fire doors in dwellings has been withdrawn. This means that in a typical dwelling where the conversion of a loft has created a three-storey dwelling house, FD20 doors are required. These can be fitted into existing frames provided that the door is installed to manufacturer’s guidance, ensuring the correct hardware is installed and that gaps around frames are kept minimal. Remember that the stairway is to be protected with a 30-minute fire resisting enclosure, meaning the upgrade of walls may also need to be carried out.

Upgrading of existing doors is still permitted but will require a self-declaration certificate from the manufacturer of the upgrade systems upon completion of works.

In new dwelling houses or flats, fire doorsets are required which means fire door frames, leaves and hardware etc. will have to be installed to the manufacturer’s guidance. This is because doorsets will have been tested to BS 476- 22, any changes to the system may void the fire resistance of the doorsets.

Structural engineer’s design for roofs where vaulted ceilings and large roof lights proposed

Did you know that we may require a structural engineer’s design for certain high collared/ vaulted roofs. Where triangulation to the roof is not provided with ceiling joists in the bottom third of the rafter, a structural design may be required for the ridge beam or connection details of high collar ties. A structural engineer’s design may also be required where large roof lights are proposed meaning multiple roof members are omitted.

When in doubt, please contact us for further advice.

Structural calculations check

When submitting structural design and calculations, please note that these may be subject to a check by building control where it is found that the calculations have been produced by somebody without the relevant skills, qualifications, or experience. This will incur an additional fee.

Remember to book a full set of inspections

Do not forget to read the acknowledgement letter which is sent out by our office on receipt of an application; this letter will detail which inspections are required. Failure to notify at these stages may result in works being uncovered to demonstrate compliance.

The LABC Inspection app has been updated!

Make sure that you have the latest version installed. Download the LABC app now.

Cheltenham and Tewkesbury building control seminar

We will be holding a seminar in the Spring to discuss changes to the building regulations. The seminar will be held in the council chambers at the Municipal Offices, Cheltenham Borough Council. Please email if you would like to be added to the attendee list.

As always, the team are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance or guidance.

You can also download this newsletter as a PDF.