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  1.  
    I'm spar-ing with our private building regs surveyors over some final parts of the building regs sign off.

    They've asked for a 'contamination and site investigation report - desktop study' and are trying to get me to buy one (not from them). I've done an assessment myself and I think that should be enough.

    We're an infill site on a terrace in London. I've obtained historic maps that show the site as farmland, then residential. None of the maps from 1745 to present show any industrial use nearby.

    When we bought the plot the council planning department in their 'response to enquiries' stated that -
    - the property is not in an area subject to contaminated land.

    Should they accept my report or do I really need to shell out £400+ to get someone else to write a report saying the same thing?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2018
     
    Which part of the building regs requires it? I thought surveys like that were part of the planning process, not building regs, but maybe things have changed
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2018
     
    ... ask them to what Building Regs the 'contamination report' relates?:angry:
  2.  
    Isn't it Approved Doc C - site preparation

    http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/buildingregulationsc.htm
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2018
     
    Section 0.9 states: "If appropriate data are gathered at the early stages it should not be necessary to completely re-evaluate a site for Building Regulations purposes." [App Doc C p10]
    Section 0.11 states: "all land quality issues should be set out in documents in support of planning approval sent to the local planning authority."
    Section 1.1 details the investigations that are usual.

    What was done in your case, what documents were produced as a result, and were they sent to planning?

    Section 2.9 lists some documents that provide guidance on how to assess a site.
    Section 2.13 states: "Expert advice should be sought."

    So there's a clear expectation that an expert be involved, but the lack of any more precise definition of the expert leads me to think there is no requirement for any specific qualifications, though it's possible there's some requirement in one of the documents listed.

    I suspect I would call the head of the building control body (or at least the head of the local office) and ask him/her exactly what they think is required and why, and why they feel your report doesn't meet the requirements. Then confirm the conversation in writing and think about what to do.

    FWIW, the appeal process is outlined at https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/appeals-and-determinations
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2018
     
    Probably they need to tick a box (with PI cover)

    Send in a compilation of your evidence starting with the LA bit and hope like mad it works.

    On my house planning insisted on one even though I had similar evidence to yours.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2018
     
    Posted By: tonyProbably they need to tick a box (with PI cover)

    I agree that it seems likely they are looking to cover their ar*es. The big question is whether they are entitled to demand it.
  3.  
    We're a 5 plot gap in a terrace. The 4th to be built on. None of the first three found any issues - it's classic 'on the ground' knowledge vs box ticking.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2018
     
    Posted By: djhWhat was done in your case, what documents were produced as a result, and were they sent to planning?
  4.  
    I didn't have any issues with Building Regs, but for Code for Sustainable Homes there were several reports I could have produced perfectly well myself, but they had to come from a 'qualified' or 'accredited' person, so I had to purchase them because there was no other way round it.

    I just put it down to a house building cost that had to be absorbed (however much it annoyed me).
  5.  
    Nothing was done - council had said not contaminated land. The house next door was in the process of being built (by our architect, who sold us the plot) and had no issues with ground make up.

    I've spoken to them on the phone and they're going to accept a £60 'Envirosearch' from landmark.co.uk
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2018
     
    Posted By: Simon StillNothing was done - council had said not contaminated land. The house next door was in the process of being built (by our architect, who sold us the plot) and had no issues with ground make up.

    My sympathies are with the building control firm then, since the regs clearly state a site walkover should be done specifically to confirm the model and assumptions made among other things. Plus that seems very reasonable to me. It seems to me the planning authority should have asked for a soil survey. Yes, 90% of the time there'd be no difference from the plot next door, but there's only one way to be [almost] sure.

    I've spoken to them on the phone and they're going to accept a £60 'Envirosearch' from landmark.co.uk

    Excellent result then, well done!
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