Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon, has said that he supports recently enacted changes to building regulations for one off houses despite calls for a review of the changes by the RIAI, architects representative group.

 “The changes recently introduced by Housing Minister Paudie Coffey remove the mandatory requirement for statutory certificates of compliance in respect of one off builds or a domestic extension. Since these regulations came into force last year, they have substantially increased the cost of building single dwellings, particularly in rural areas and resulted in less construction activity than expected.

“Owners, including self-builders, will now have the choice to opt out of statutory certification and may instead demonstrate by alternative means that they have met their general obligation to build in accordance with the minimum requirements of the building regulations.
“I believe the changes are reasonable as those who build one off houses tend to know the local builders and trademen involved and take a more hands on approach to the construction process than those who are buying in estates and are often one step removed from the construction process.

“The building regulations are important to ensure that the likes of Priory Hall never happens again but I completely support the Minister in giving those who build one off houses the option to opt out if that suits them in light of the very significant cost the new regulations had put on construction, believed to be over €15,000 for a one off house.

 “These new arrangements will make life easier for Kildare residents planning to build or extend their own home. It is important that we maintain a balance between adequate building regulations while allowing those who are hands on in their development the latitude to do so without excessive costly red tape.”