Building standards enforcement and sanctions: consultation outcome report

Consultation outcome report on the strengthening of existing enforcement and sanctions provisions in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.

6. Section 27 – Stopping work

Q3 asked - Do you agree that the provision of a standalone stop notice under section 27 would act as a helpful deterrent?

High levels of total agreement with this proposal were recorded among all respondents (86%), individuals (89%) and organisations (84%), with over half of each audience strongly agreeing and one third agreeing. The level of agreement varied by type of organisation, with 60% of local authorities strongly agreeing compared to 43% of professional associations and 33% of commercial organisations.

The common theme was that the separate stop notice would send a clear and compelling message that compliance would be enforced. A few responses said a stop notice would be more effective than notices to suspend works or a statement in an enforcement notice. A professional/membership body thought it would be a helpful deterrent, particularly where issues are recorded, publicly available and communicated to regulators. One local authority agreed but suggested that the implementation of the new approach should be kept simple to allow it to be used quickly and easily when needed.

Concerns were raised by local authorities around the need for additional resources and the burden on council services to monitoring enforcement.

Scottish Government Response

Section 27 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 will be amended to make provision for a separate standalone stop notice.

In relation to concerns raised by local authorities around the need for additional resources to carry out their enforcement role, Scottish Government increased building warrant fees on 1 April 2024. This is the first increase as part of a 3-year model agreed following a public consultation of increasing building warrant fees Building standards - building warrant fees: consultation - ( that ran from 21 July 2023 to 24 October 2023.

In the response by local authorities to the fees consultation, they expressed a view that the increase in building warrant fees is for their verification role. Their statutory role is separate to this and should be funded separately. The Scottish Government is considering this further to better understand the issues.

Training for local authorities on carrying out formal enforcement action is being developed in partnership with Local Authority Building Standards Scotland, the Scottish Building Standards Hub and Police Scotland to support effective use of enforcement powers. Any future increase in building warrant fees will support investment in service delivery.



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