The solicitor hasn’t breached the rules although he may have been negligent firstly if the retention was not enough and secondly by passing the retention over to the solicitor for the seller to hold to your order. As it is now, it’s stalemate.
It is most unwise not to allow the seller access to your loft to fix the plumbing issues because if those issues cause damage, the builder could potentially escape liability. If he causes any other damage, while repairing these issues, he is responsible to rectify that damage.
However, even your solicitor retained the money, the wording of the contract should be that if it was not done by a particular date, the money would be given to you and that term should be in there whether the money is held by the seller solicitor or by your solicitor.
You don’t say whether the seller is willing to do this or not but, if he is not willing to do the work, you are going to have to do it yourself and sue him for the cost.
That’s ultimately what it comes down to.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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