Building warrant fees: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses from our 2023 consultation on building warrant fees.

7. Conclusions

Many individuals and stakeholders with detailed knowledge participated in the consultation, sharing their views on the proposed changes to building warrant fees. Reflecting their experience and perspectives, this report provides a high-level summary of the consultation responses. For more detail, readers are encouraged to look to individual responses where permission was given for publication[3].

There was broad agreement with several of the proposed changes, but respondents also noted concerns or points for consideration in some key areas.

Just under two thirds (65%) of all respondents agreed that building warrant fees should be increased, 70% agreed with using a portion of fees to support a central Building Standards Hub, and 81% supported the introduction of an enhanced fee for High Risk Building warrant applications. There was widespread consensus that building warrant fees should be set nationally, with 88% agreeing. Respondents also favoured an iterative process for future fee setting, with 81% supporting a review after one year before and changes to fees are implemented.

Many supported the proposed changes, arguing they could lead to improved processes, oversight and consistency between local authorities. This was especially true regarding the support for a portion of fees being used to fund a central Building Standards Hub and an enhanced fee for High Risk Buildings.

While a majority (59%) supported a portion of building warrant fees funding the local authority compliance enforcement role in relation to building warrants, only one third (33%) felt that fees should fund a wider building standards statutory role within local authorities. This latter role was seen as separate from the building warrant verification process and should, therefore, also be funded separately.

Concerns about how the increased building warrant fees would be used were raised by both those in favour of and opposed to the proposals. A frequently raised concern was ensuring that any additional funding generated from increased fees is directed back to local authority building standards teams to support their work. A few also highlighted that increased fees could dissuade people from renovating or building in the future.

Throughout the consultation, respondents argued that any fee increase would need to be accompanied by an improvement in the quality of services provided by local authority building standards teams. It was suggested that there were delays to building warrant approvals and verification due to a lack of trained staff arising from funding and skills shortages. Some noted that introducing the proposed changes to an already stretched sector could negatively impact the verification process.

The Verification Delivery Model work stream will now consider the findings from this consultation to further inform the development of the Building Standards Hub and the work of the Building Standards Futures Board.



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