10. Enforcement, sanctions, and monitoring
The proposed changes within Option 1 will require amendment to published material forming the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the modification of the supporting guidance given within the Technical Handbooks (issued by the Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government) that support the Regulations. The Technical Handbooks list the mandatory functional standards set out under regulation 9 of the Regulations and give guidance on ways of complying with these mandatory functional standards.
All matters relating to enforcement, sanctions and monitoring will be carried out under the existing processes, which form the building standards system in Scotland, as set out under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. Parties responsible for operation of this system are currently the 32 Scottish local authorities, appointed as verifiers under the Act, and the Building Standards Division, on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
Enforcement and Sanctions
Work subject to the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 generally requires that a building warrant must be obtained before work commences and to have a completion certificate accepted once works are finished. Whether or not such work requires a building warrant is set out under Regulation 5 of the Regulations, the person responsible for the building or works, the ‘relevant person’ as defined in section 17 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, is required to ensure compliance with building regulations.
Where a building warrant is required, proposals are subject to the scrutiny of verifiers prior to approval of building warrant or acceptance of a Completion Certificate. Local authorities have enforcement powers under the Act to ensure compliance with approvals and the Regulations. Cases of non-compliance can be referred to the Procurator Fiscal and persons found guilty of offences in terms of the Act are liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000). The construction of all new homes is subject to the above process and does require a building warrant.
The aim of the proposed regulatory option is to provide assurance that new homes are provided with access to the best available network connection, with this enabled by installation of physical infrastructure at the point of construction. And that this outcome is delivered by changes to building regulations. Building regulations are applied within a legislative framework summarised above. In line with Scottish Government policy, any implemented changes which address this issue should be subject to review within a 10-year period. Any such review shall be accompanied by a further Impact Assessment.
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