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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10177
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Hi My question relates to Irish Building Control Regulations

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Hi
My question relates to Irish Building Control Regulations as amended & specifically with regard to the provisions for the serving of a '7 day Notice' on the Building Control Authority with respect to an application under Part III of the Regulations for a Fire Safety Certificate, Revised Fire Safety Certificate, a Regularisation Fire Safety Certificate etc. as may be appropriate.
The purpose of this form of notice would appear to allow for the commencement of works without being in posession of a granted Fire Safety Certificate with safe-guards prescribed under section 43 of the regulations restricting the opening, operation & occupation of the building without being in possession of a granted Fire Safety Certificate.

I would be grateful if you could clarify the situation with regard to the provisions of the regulations in cases when it is also necessary to make an application for a Disability Access Certificate.
It would appear that there is no provision in this case for the serving of a '7 day notice' & as a result, it would appear that works cannot commence on the works without first being in posession of a granted DAC.
I would be grateful if you could clarify the this apparent anomoly whereby there appears to be mechanism by which works can commence with regard to a requirement for a FSC but the same mechinism does not appear to exist with regard to a tandem requirement for a DAC.
I note has this apparent disparity has not been addressed by the current 2013 amendment.
1. At the outset, the law is that you cannot commence works without a Disability Access Certificate as you need to send a copy of the DAC to the local authority with your Commencement Notice. Normally, for this reason a DAC is applied for at the design stage of the building. There is no 7 day Notice procedure as there exists in relation to a Fire Safety Certificate. This applies even after the 2013 Amendment. Essentially, the legislature has taken the view that it is important before works commence that provision has been made for Disability Access. This accords with the view that it is primarily a design issue. If you commence works without a DAC you will be ordered by the Fire Prevention or Building Control Authorities to apply for a DAC retrospectively and may be required to make changes.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Buachaill
Thank you for your answer & prompt response.
However, would it be possible for you clarify the logic of the apparent disparity regarding the DAC application provisions given that matters relating to Fire Safety, means of escape provisions etc. are similarly design considerations of equal importance, it could be argued, to universal access & accessibility. This apparent disparity is a matter I struggle to satisfactorily explain to clients so any clarification you could provide in this regard would be very much appreciated.
Furthermore, what powers does a Building Control authority have & what are the probable implications for a person commencing works without a granted DAC &/or FSC when required or in advance of the serving of a 7 day notice?
2. As I stated in my earlier answer "it is primarily a design issue" that pertains to a DAC. The only anomaly is that you can start works without a Fire Safety Certificate. What you need to explain to your client is not that the DAC issue is an anomaly but how can someone start work on a building without proper fire access included in the design process. That is what is anomalous and that is what you should make clear to your clients.
3. As i stated in my earlier answer "If you commence works without a DAC you will be ordered by the Fire Prevention or Building Control Authorities to apply for a DAC retrospectively and may be required to make changes". The botXXXXX XXXXXne is your client may have to knock part of the building as the Building control officer has power to make you do this and also to remove totally any building or part of a building erected without permission. As both relate to the "design" & "flow" of the building, this is a serious issue. Also the architect should have sorted these issues out at the design stage.
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