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 May 2017 - November 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 97% 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.

May 2017

Most of the communication was with the architect and builder. The builder was particularly helpful.

Excellent & prompt service and thanks to Philip Mansfield in particular.

The dialogue was managed by our contractor who was pleased with the interface with building control.

With a young baby, it would have been nice to be given a time slot in advance of roughly 1-2 hours. However, the 30 mins phone call was useful.

Better consideration and incorporation of Wessex Water requirements for sewer alterations would have avoided some confusion and delays.

Fantastic Service

Knowledgeable & pleasant inspector.

Only a couple of calls not returned. Otherwise excellent service! Roland was very helpful and pragmatic.

Your response to a recent query was amazingly prompt – well done!!

Please allow appointment slots (e.g. within 2 hours) Thank you.

Really excellent service – so helpful and patient.

Excellent building control surveyor, thank you! (Paul Stevens).


June 2017

Very straight forward and easy to deal with.


Always helpful.

Everyone was very helpful and approachable and responded quickly to my queries.

As the householder (and ultimately the bill payer) I’d have liked to have been notified of visits so I could discuss any aspects of the ongoing work.

Very informative.

Excellent service.

Roland has been very helpful and his guidance had been invaluable. Thankyou!

Paul Stevens was very knowledgeable and helpful to get the most pragmatic solution.

BANES building control service have proven themselves to be helpful knowledgeable, efficient and friendly. Very reassuring qualities, which are appreciated.

I was not aware that a final completion certificate had not been achieved as Building Control seems to have no system of chasing up long overdue completions. But once I knew, B.C. responded well.

Action taken: Our IT system has been altered to bring up completions which have not yet been issued.


July 2017

Planning process through to final completion and inspection all was of the highest standard, polite and helpful staff.

Paul Stevens is excellent always available on the phone (or returns call promptly) & very helpful.

Roland was very helpful and a good guy.

An excellent, helpful and supportive service.

Thank you.

Dawn Harvey has been brilliant – accessible, pragmatic and professional throughout.

Dawn Harvey proved to be excellent.

Steve Atkins was very professional and personable and couldn’t have been more helpful.

Dawn was a star for me from the word go and helped me focus on getting all the elements right. Her help and advice steered me through what, at times, was a difficult project. I think she’s a credit to your team and I would like you to pass on my sincere thanks to her.

August 2017

I didn’t speak to you very often as I used an architect, but you were always very helpful and efficient thank you.

Steve Atkins was superb throughout our build and subsequent visit on completion. Professional and friendly. Also huge praise and thanks to Chloe in the office – Went above and beyond for us.

Very Helpful and pleasant to deal with.

Excellent, efficient service on time.

We originally started with an Approved Inspector but found them very unhelpful and unwilling to provide any advice. Swapping to BANES was a great decision. Very Happy.

Very Helpful with prompt service.

Dawn is a wealth of knowledge and we would be happy to deal with her again.

All Excellent thanks

Extremely helpful service. Thank you.

September 2017

Always find staff very professionally and helpful and give great advice.

Very helpful and informative . Always swift and responsive with site visits. Excellent service.

I thought the service was good and advice was very good.

All done efficiently and helpfully

October 2017

Very happy with all of Julians work and professionalism.

Ms Harvey from Building Control was knowledgeable, polite and efficient, keeping us informed at every stage.

Many thanks to all. Thanks for all your help. Mr S Atkins (Brill)

Excellent keep it up.

Oliver Reed was very professional and helpful

Excellent Service, Thank you

November 2017

I phoned on Wednesday, Paul visited our site on Thursday and we had our regularisation certificate emailed through on Friday. You really can’t ask for a better service than that. Really outstanding. Thank you Paul and your team so much for taking some of the stress out of renovating an old house.

We are very pleased with the service you gave us.


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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