Gardai have likened the Bridgewater Centre to ‘a honeypot’ for shoplifters. 21 incidents have
been reported since the start of 2014.
WICKLOW COUNTY Council has requested that the construction of one-off housing be exempt from the Building Control Regulations 2014.
The decision was reached at the April meeting of Wicklow County Council, where a number of members raised concerns that the new regulations - introduced in March - would substantially increase the cost of constructing a new home and jeopardise the livelihood of local builders and tradesmen who previously would have benefitted from the availability of such work.
Under the regulations, additional documentation for erecting a new building or constructing an extension were introduced in the form of a commencement notice and a certificate of compliance which must be signed by an assigned certifier, who must be registered with either the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland or the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland, or a chartered engineer with Engineers Ireland. Industry sources have estimated that this will typically add €1,000 - €3,000 to the cost of building a house.
Cllr Chris Fox claimed that this would impact upon local draftsmen who could no longer certify works despite their ‘many years of experience and competency’ as well as people - particularly in rural areas - seeking to build their own home.
‘ The cost of certification is a huge issue. From what I have been told, €1,000 - €3,000 is way off the mark; people are already being quoted €10,000 - €12,000.’
He added that ‘ small builders and local tradesmen will be left in a very exposed position’ by the changes.
‘Cllr Ruttle went on to propose that the council request that one-off houses be exempt from the regulations, but Cllr George Jones countered by claiming that you could not have a ‘discrepancy between 15,000 houses and one house.’
Cllr Ruttle’s proposal was passed by a vote of 12 to five, with seven councillors absent at the time the vote was taken.