Success for schemes in B&NES in the LABC West of England Building Excellence Awards 2017

Building projects in the B&NES area were successful in the LABC West of England Building Excellence Awards 2017 which were held in Bristol recently.

There were two winning schemes and one highly commended:-

Highly Commended - Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home: Hill Rise, North Road, Bath - Project Team: South West Contractors, SR Architects Ltd

Winner - Best Educational Building: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath - Project team: Vinci Construction UK, AWW Architects, University of Bath

Winner - Best Small Commercial Project: Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, Bath - Project Team: Inside Out Architectural Consultants Ltd, Tracy Park Golf & Country Hotel

Winners announced in the annual B&NES Building Control awards 2016

The winners and highly commended schemes for this year's Building Control awards were celebrated in the Banqueting Room in the Guildhall recently.

Building Quality Award Winners

Building Type



Domestic Extension

Easton, Sham Castle Lane, Bath

Gratton Building

New Housing

'Treetops' Bristol Road, Keynsham

Whitecroft Developments


Building 10 West, University of Bath

Vinci Construction

Works to a Listed Building

13 Cavendish Place, Bath

Emery Brothers Ltd

Highly Commended – Building Quality

Domestic Extension

Apple Tree Cottage, The Street, Stowey

F J Wookey & Co.


New Housing


Penn Lea, Bromley Road, Stanton Drew

R O Dando & Sons




Newton Mill Caravan And Camping Site

Newton St. Loe, Bath

Phelan Construction Ltd

Works to a Listed Building

Holly House, 16 High Street, Chew Magna

R O Dando & Sons


Works to a Listed Building


The Carriage House, The Old Rectory

Anchor Lane, Combe Hay, Bath

Phil Cook

Design Quality Award Winners

Building Type



Domestic Extension

Hill Rise North Road Bath

SR Architects

New Housing

9 Raby Mews, Bathwick, Bath

Esmond Murray Architects


Lewsdon, Kingswood School,

College Road, Lansdown, Bath

Mitchell Eley Gould

Works to a Listed Building

20 Gay Street, Bath

Martin Blake Associates

Highly Commended – Design Quality

Domestic Extension

38 Newbridge Hill, Newbridge

whiteBOX architects

New Housing

Tynemore Farmhouse, Stowey Lane, Clutton

Acorn Architectural Ltd


Building 10 West, University of Bath

AWW Architects

Works to a Listed Building

13 Cavendish Place, Bath

S M Harris & Associates


Customer Responses November 2016 - April 2017

At the completion of every project we inspect we send a short customer questionnaire card to the applicant to ask them about their views on our service. Currently this year 98% of the responses have stated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with our service. Below is a selection of comments made by our customers during this period. We are very grateful to hear from any of our customers about ways in which we could further improve our service.

November 2016

From my first enquiry to the final receiving of the certificate, the staff could not have been more helpful and valuable in the guidance. Thank you.

The whole process was excellent please pass our thanks to Julian Humphrey was most helpful.

No complaints. Thank you for helping make the project such a success.

Advice really good, appointments kept and on time. Thank you. Good relationship with builder was evident.

Your staff that I dealt with on the phone and in person were polite, efficient, friendly and professional – I was really impressed with the service I received.

Building control feels like a service that enables you to complete your project successfully, not just a ‘policing’ body.

Roland Hames made the process very easy and gave sound advice and solid advice which made my conversion easier. The staff in the office were very good and helped with any queries I had. All in all it was an exceptional service.


December 2016

I think if the charges were less it would encourage people to get more work checked and done to building regs. – As ability to pay varies from person to person.  Answer - Thank you for your feedback, please note that our charges are set on a cost recovery basis only, there is no profit built into them.

Excellent service from Dawn Harvey – V. Professional, knowledgeable and helpful in planning this project.

Prompt, helpful and very knowledgeable.

January 2017

Julian Humphrey is very helpful, as always striking the correct balance between enforcement and causes which is necessary but also providing help and support.

Very prompt professional service – Many thanks

Philip Mansfield was excellent and a credit to Building Control

BANES BC responded well to my request to issue a regularisation certificate for work carried out by ECO residential in late 2015 before they went into liquidation. Closer supervision on joint projects called for.

February 2017

Very good service, really helpful

Some snags with communication and time frame of electrical works checking service but otherwise excellent visits on site and overall happy with outcome with thanks to Kieran and Steve for this.

Roland was very pleasant and a pleasure to deal with.

Very helpful staff

Very helpful de-archiving a file and dealing with a project from almost 10 years ago. Thank you.

March 2017

Thank you to Roland Hames for always responding when we asked.

April 2017

Julian Humphrey continues to work well with our site managers, providing advice and authority as required to maintain required building standards and ensure compliance.

Thank you for a fantastic service from the ladies that answered in the BC office to Julian and his expert direction & guidance.

The staff in this department always take time to deal with questions in full – they are always helpful and very professional.

Written checklist at start of job would be useful.

The planning team told me I didn’t need any further permissions – but I did need building regulations permission.

All good, thank you.

We were initially recommended to use an independent company, however after contacting building control services your help was above and beyond and we never looked back! Thank you!

I have to say we found the officers easy to contact, pragmatic and helpful. So altogether a very positive experience.

Very good service, thank you!

Revised Building Regulations from 1st October 2015

There have been some amendments to existing building regulations and new regulations introduced  on 1st October 2015.

Part Q – Security – Dwellings

This is a new Approved Document which has been introduced to deal with security requirements for new dwellings, in the main regarding security of easily accessible windows and doors. It only applies to new dwellings or dwellings formed by a change of use.

Housing Standards 

Last year the Govt. issued a Housing Standards consultation which looked at reducing the variance of technical standards that were encroaching into planning decisions with a view to bringing them more into the building regulations. These were in the main around water usage, accessibility, energy conservation and space standards. As a result of the consultation a number of these have been introduced into revised building regulations and Planning authorities have been restricted from  including bespoke technical standards into planning decisions.

With regard to water usage and accessibility the situation now is that if a Planning authority wishes to ask for higher than normal standards in these areas they need to incorporate this into their planning policies and Local Plan with an evidence based approach. If this is successful then the Planning authority can require the higher levels of water economy and accessibility for certain new dwellings. This will then be dealt with under the building regulation application.  The details are as follows:-

Part G – water usage

There is potentially a higher standard of water conservation that can be asked for. This is for 105 litres per person per day rather than the standard level of 125 litres per person per day. Details about how to comply and show compliance are given in the revised Approved Document G (G2)  -


Part M – accessibility

This applies to new dwellings and there are now 3 potential levels of accessibility standard that can be required by Planning authorities. These are:-

Category 1 – Visitable dwellings – which is a per the existing Part M standard.

Category 2 – Accessible and adaptable dwellings – buildings which are more easily accessible and can be easily adapted for disabled people in particular.

Category 3 – Wheelchair user dwellings – these are fully accessible dwellings.

The guidance on the revised standards is given in the new Approved Document M   Part M has been split into two volumes now with Volume 1 applying to dwellings and Volume 2 applying to buildings other than dwellings.

Space standards

The Govt decided after the consultation not to include space standards within the building regulations and this will therefore remain a planning issue. A nationally described space standard has been introduced but this will only apply if it has been included in the Planning authorities Local Plan.

Part L – Conservation of fuel & power

The Govt. decided earlier in the year to put on hold the zero carbon requirement for new dwellings which was due to commence in 2016.

Building regulations information

Recently revised Approved Documents and building regulation information can be found on the website.

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