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Hey everyone,

 

So we are having a nightmare with Building Control in Glasgow City. Since our house is the first self build (ever) in the city, and we are part of the pilot self build scheme, they have no clue about what we're doing here and don't seem at all interested. I have been asking for temporary habitation since July and was told by our BC officer that we might as well just go for full completion. I have been asking for a site visit for months too, when 2 guys in hi-vis jackets and lanyards showed up unannounced the other day, not wearing masks, and started picking our build apart. One guy told me we would "never" get temporary habitation. I asked for a list of things we had to do to get there and they said they would only speak to our builder or architect, despite me telling them that Ben and I are the builders. They left the site and we have not been sent any more information in over 3 weeks. Ive complained, I've called, and we just can't get any movement. Meanwhile our architect who submitted our original drawings told us the house is built perfectly to spec and is of the best he's seen. The BC officers told us we had to rip off all our Russwood cladding since spiders and rats could get inside. It's all been approved! I can't get anywhere with this and am getting really worried as our mortgage is sky high and now loan repayments are flying out the bank too... Is there anyone who knows how we can get BC to move on our completion certificate? Or does anyone have any advice here? Really stuck... GCC are terrible. Thanks. Joanna

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Did you actually apply for a temporary habitation certificate.

 

So so through this website   https://www.ebuildingstandards.scot/eBuildingStandardsClient/default.aspx

 

It's a bit of a clumsy site to get used to but certainly up here Highland Council now insist you use that portal.   You want the "Temporary Habitation" proposal form.

 

Councils are very slow, it took us 3 months to get a temporary habitation, and then nearly a year later nearly 2 months to get completion.  After out completion inspection I heard nothing for 3 weeks until I got a refusal to issue completion certificate notice due to 2 really trivial issues which I had to correct and apply again for completion which this time was granted.

 

By doing it the official route above, they either have to issue what you asked for, or refuse it with stated reasons for refusal.

 

Perhaps is is just better to pay a few £££ for your architect to do this for you?  He might be better at arguing the case if there are any things they are not happy with?

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I think BC are generally overstretched. There's also not a lot of consistency within local authorities. I'm in the same LA as @ProDave and while I applied for a temporary habitation certificate the BCO told me the only difference between that and completion is some of the outstanding paperwork (I'm not convinced about this but didn't have a strong counter-argument). My temporary habitation certificate is still pending after several months - it was never rejected or accepted. I had a BCO inspect our house after my temporary habitation application and he subsequently gave me a list of the things I needed to sort for completion. I applied for completion over a month ago and haven't heard anything.

 

Anyway, the point is that the delays are pretty typical. Using the ebuilding standards website will help the LA to accept or reject it one way or the other.

 

Did you have any previous inspections - at foundation, structure or insulation stages? Did they say anything at that point?

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I think your poor experiences must down to your particular local authority.  I think city based councils have less self building experience.  I’m in Aberdeenshire and my BC & planning depts were brilliant to deal with, even during lockdown.   I had a main contractor but they were very happy to deal with me personally as the house was handed over on a temp hab certificate for me to finish kitchen, do driveway etc.  Very customer focussed but probably more experienced with self builders.  Irony is that as self builders we are trying to build better quality homes than some of the rubbish that main developers build, so BC should be supportive of that you would think.  Shame on GGC.

 

Have you thought about speaking to your local elected councillor?  They carry a lot of clout with the council.

Edited by Bozza
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Thanks Bozza, I think you are exactly right! And yes its so distressing when we are doing everything in our power to build an eco friendly house - we have achieved Silver Active Level and have very low CO2 emissions, but feel like we are being ignored, excluded and even punished for doing something different. (It's a Glasgow City Council scheme too!) Absolutely no support.

 

I've already spoken with local councillors who have been in touch with GCC over the last year, but still not response. Where to next?!

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7 hours ago, jamieled said:

nd while I applied for a temporary habitation certificate the BCO told me the only difference between that and completion is some of the outstanding paperwork (I'm not convinced about this but didn't have a strong counter-argument)

Not true.

 

For a temporary habitation the building needs to be safe, but not complete.

 

At Temporary habitation we had no internal doors downstairs, one pane of glass missing (window boarded up) and the big one, the sun room was a bare shell.  Paperwork needed for that was just electrical certificate and gas safe certificate.

 

For completion we obviously had to complete the building, then the extra paperwork needed was air test and as build SAP / EPC and they wanted to witness yet another drain pressure test.

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On 05/11/2021 at 16:19, ProDave said:

Not true.

 

For a temporary habitation the building needs to be safe, but not complete.

 

At Temporary habitation we had no internal doors downstairs, one pane of glass missing (window boarded up) and the big one, the sun room was a bare shell.  Paperwork needed for that was just electrical certificate and gas safe certificate.

 

For completion we obviously had to complete the building, then the extra paperwork needed was air test and as build SAP / EPC and they wanted to witness yet another drain pressure test.

Yes! Exactly... Our house is way past temporary approval - it's basically finished. I wish they would consider temp...

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