Independent Inspectorate needed to ensure safe buildings- O’Sullivan

21 June 2017

Labour Housing Spokeperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said that an independent inspectorate with the power to examine homes under construction is needed, to ensure that new builds adhere to proper safety standards.

Deputy O’Sullivan made the comments ahead of a debate on a motion on building standards in the Dáil this evening.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“As the construction of houses and apartments ramps up in the next number of years, it is imperative that those buildings are sound, safe and of good quality.

“The horrific fire in Grenfell Tower, London is the starkest of reminders of how lives can be lost because standards are ignored.

“Now is the right time to establish an independent inspectorate, along the lines of the EPA or the Food Safety Authority, that would have the power and remit to go in and examine homes under construction at various stages from foundation to finish.  This is particularly urgent with regard to apartment blocks with multiple occupiers.

 “The ‘knock them up and fix them later’ legacy of the celtic tiger boom must never be allowed to happen again.

“I also believe there should be a register of inspections carried out that is available for public examination so that there is an understanding and confidence that shoddy workmanship will not go unnoticed.

“Sadly, none of this will help the unfortunate householders who are faced with bills of between €15,000 and €38,000 in at least one development in the Dublin area, and we know there are many more. They need a resolution process as proposed in the Green Party motion.

“Last, but not least, the Fire Safety Review that was commissioned in September 2015 and which, I understand, has been completed for some time, must be published so that we can learn from it and implement any recommendations it makes.”

 

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