The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Brian Stanley TD has claimed that the costs of the new building regulation will prevent thousands of people from building their own homes.
At question time in the Dáil this morning, the Laois/Offaly TD said that Minister Phil Hogan had failed to satisfy concerns over potentially prohibitive building costs.
Deputy Stanley said: “I accept that building regulations should be complied with by whoever builds a house, whether it is a self-built house or part of a larger scale development. However, I do not understand why local authorities should not have the final power to sign off on buildings. As in other EU states local councils charge a modest fee which would be self-financing.
“The Minister has claimed that the new regulation would on average add between €1,000 and €3,000 to building costs. I have a quote for a person in Laois of €18,000.
“I welcome his clarification that individual tradesmen can take on work from people building their own houses. However, the main problem remains that people will be required to have an assigned professional to sign off on the building. The evidence to date is that people are being quoted exorbitant fees. The statement by the Minister today that will monitor the charges to ensure that people are not ripped off is not sufficient to address that.
“I would call on the Minister to postpone the implementation of the regulation pending an amendment which would allow the local authority to assume the role of certifier for a modest set fee.”