30/01/2004

Local building regulations placed under review

A consultation document on the review of the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 has been launched by Ian Pearson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for Finance and Personnel.

Over 400 copies of the consultation document will be sent out to various interested groups and individuals.

The publication will examine the existing provisions of the Order and seek views on possible new powers to be taken. Currently, the existing Order enables the Department of Finance and Personnel to make building regulations and prescribe fees and confers related powers on district councils including powers of enforcement, imposes penalties for contraventions and gives rights of appeal against decisions.

Mr Pearson stated: "The primary legislation giving power to make building regulations in Northern Ireland has remained substantially unchanged since 1979. Much has changed since then and further change is required to ensure that buildings and building regulations continue to meet the needs of people and business in Northern Ireland.

"This consultation exercise is an opportunity for all those interested groups, organisations or individuals to comment on the system at present and on other matters which may be included in future legislation. I would stress that this is the initial consultation and further consultations will take place.

"The new legislation, which will be the end product of this process, will impact on everyone in Northern Ireland for many years to come. The outcomes from this initial exercise will inform the next stage in the process. I would therefore strongly encourage all those interested to make their views known at this early stage."

The consultation period ends on Friday 7 May 2004. Further copies of the consultation document are available by contacting the Building Regulations Unit on +44 (0)28 9054 2926 or at www.dfpni.gov.uk/buildingregulations.

(CL)

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