Council urged to carry out more building inspections

Council urged to carry out more building inspections

For private and public new builds, the rate of inspections has been 6.4% in 2016, 13.8% in 2017 and 12% in 2018.

COUNTY Hall chiefs have been urged to carry out more inspections on new buildings, following figures that reveal less than 15% are currently checked.

For private and public new builds, the rate of inspections has been 6.4% in 2016, 13.8% in 2017 and 12% in 2018.

Councillor Ronnie Morely said he was very disturbed by the figures which he described as "very low".

“I’m trying to figure out who decides which one is examined and which one isn’t examined. I would have thought all houses should be inspected,” Mr Morely said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Melissa Mullane said that she agreed with her colleague and questioned the current guidelines in place for inspections.

“There is an onus on us, as a planning authority, to make sure what we get planning for is actually what comes out in the end.

“Unfortunately, as councillors, we would all have gone into estates where in fact what was on the planning permission is not what was carried out at all in the end.” 

Sinn Féin Councillor Eoghan Jeffers said the report was very useful information and said the figures were astonishing and shocking.

Mr Jeffers said he was recently speaking to a builder who told him how he had accidentally stumbled upon shoddy work in the private sector.

“I was told by a builder who was carrying out works on behalf of the local authority in a new housing estate that was developed in my own municipal district that council went in to do the job on their own properties and the person saw that on the private dwellings there was no private fireproofing in the houses.

“So he could see from one attic the whole way down the gable end which is highly dangerous. It showed that the council found a glaring problem in private housing.” 

In response, Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said “We try to achieve about 15% overall inspection rate. There is a proposal from Government that wants to see 25% inspected and every property inspected over a four year period. That requires funding, that is something that is Government intent.

“That is a matter that is ongoing in terms of how that will be resourced but in terms of the resources that we have at the moment, that is the level of service we can provide and that will be the level of service for the foreseeable future until we are resourced to meet a significant increase.” 

Mr Morely said that the low percentage isn’t enough and the government should pay more attention to the safety of people.

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