The Partner Authority Scheme is an initiative administered by LABC Services (Local Authority Building Control), the company responsible for the marketing and promotion of Local Authority Building Control. LABC Services co-ordinates national and regional initiatives by using the experience of building control surveyors working at local level in England and Wales.
The Purpose of the Partner Authority Scheme is to give a Partner Company a one to one relationship with a Partner Authority for the plan approval aspect of all construction projects irrespective of location. Protecting the confidential nature of construction design and procurement is a key element of the new scheme. The Partner Authority will act as an effective link to the local authority where the project is to be built (Inspecting Local Authority on behalf of the Partner Company).
The Partner Authority will assess the plans for a project and issue decision advice, which will lead to automatic Building Regulation approval by the Inspecting Local Authority.
At the same time LABC has unprecedented local knowledge and a history of site conditions which has been gathered over decades. Access to this valuable site specific information is an integral part of the Partner Authority Scheme.
An application form is sent to the Partner Authority Co-ordinator giving details of your company and your choice of a local authority with which you would like to be partnered. If you wish, the Co-ordinator will make suggestions and find a suitable partner Authority for you.
Once the selection of a Partner Authority has been agreed the Co-ordinator will arrange for representatives to meet to discuss the details and scope of the partnership. The first meeting should be seen as an occasion to begin building a good relationship. To this end there should be a frank exchange of information aimed at establishing a clear understanding of the requirements needed by the company and the local authority for the partnership to work.
The Partner Company will make known at this first meeting whether it expects a Full Plans assessment or a check limited to some of the Building Regulations only, e.g. fire safety. The Partner Authority will use this information to establish the extent of the resource required to meet the needs of the Partner Company. Shortly after the meeting the Partner Authority will submit to the Partner Authority Co-ordinator the Registration Form to enable the partnership to be registered under the scheme.
The aim of the Scheme is to reduce unnecessary delays by statutory procedures and where possible to speed up the process leading to Building Regulation approval. The Partner Authority accomplishes this by liaising with the Inspecting Local Authority and providing professional advice to the Partner Company during the design stage. If this advice is acted upon a greater element of certainty exists that Building Regulation approval will follow without further amendments.
When a project is placed under the scheme the Partner Company invites the Partner Authority at an early stage to give ongoing advice on the application of the Building Regulations to all aspects of the design.
The Partner Company submits a Full Plans application together with the appropriate building regulation charge to the Inspecting Local Authority. The Inspecting Local Authority deals with all local statutory consultations and advises the Partner Authority of the responses and local knowledge. The Partner Authority issues a Decision Advice Notice to the Inspecting Local Authority once the design is satisfactory. The Inspecting Local Authority issues an Approval Notice to the Partner company, or their Agent.
The Inspecting Local Authority carries out site inspections. This will guarantee a speedy response for site inspections and critical local knowledge held with the local authority will continue to be available to the Partner Company during construction, especially when the foundations are being laid and where unforeseen factors can arise.
The Inspecting Local Authority will deal with deviations from the approved plans although a major design change could necessitate the involvement of the Partner Authority to maintain consistency of interpretation.
The process can be aided by support from the Partner Authority Co-ordinator where third party advice may be required to expedite the decision process.
If you are interested in becoming a Partner Company with Bradford Building Control, but want further information before making a definite decision, please do not hesitate to contact Justin Booth on 01274 434716 or Steve Hirst on 01274 434682 for an informal friendly discussion.
The address of LABC Services is:
66 South Lambert Road
Telephone: 020 7091 6860