Safe as houses

Peterborough building work

Starting a building project at home or on a business property is one of the most expensive decisions many of us will make – so it’s a good idea to check plans are watertight before you spend the money. The City Council’s Building Regulations department can help from Day One, ensuring all your boxes are ticked, avoiding costly mistakes and pitfalls. We spoke to John Stubley, Buildings Control Manager, to find out more...

First of all, tell us a bit about what your department does and what it’s offering
We work with national and local house builders, local businesses, self-build projects and national brands to guide them through their construction projects to ensure compliance.

We are on call 24 hours a day to assist the emergency services to respond to incidents such as cars colliding with houses through to serious commercial and domestic house fires.

We assist homeowners with loft conversions, extensions, conservatory re-roofs, log burners or even converting their garage into a nice living space. We ensure compliance is met around structure, electrical, drainage, and fire safety to name a few. We are here through legislation to ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings is met.

We are not here to catch people out, but we do have a duty to ensure their safety.

So what you’re offering is a safety net – a level of reassurance for the building project in question?
We are part of a national network of highly skilled and experienced professionals using our attention to detail to check your plans; working with your team of structural engineers, architects, and contractors to ensure everything complies with the law before you start.

Peterborough building workSo, you could even save people money?
Absolutely! Unlike a private business, we are required by law to be not-for- profit. We are local so getting to you is quick. Our surveyors will get to know you and your team; a familiar face goes a long way. Discussing your project through a full plans’ application will enable builders to quote more effectively in terms of time and material cost. Any challenges or non- compliance can be sorted in advance.

If someone needs to comply with building regulations, it’s much better they do it at the start of the job than realise all the things they should have known at the end of the job!
When things go wrong, we may have to take enforcement action through the courts and if you sell your home and discover you have not got the right building permission, this could cause problems in the sale or even with your insurance provider.

We know our business, and no one wants to see emergency measures implemented when someone has taken a load bearing wall out with no support – it has happened!

Building regulations are there to ensure you are kept safe. Please don’t create yourself a nightmare. We are there to guide you in a safe and compliant manner.

A lot of people are re-assured by their builders that everything is ok, and think they don’t need to check.
Although most builders are professional and competent, it is best if you are unsure to get in touch to discuss your project. Builders have assumed that what worked on one job may work on another. This is not always that case, particularly around structure and fire safety.

Remember! As the owner you are potentially responsible. It is free to contact us and our advice is impartial.

A lot of this sounds like it’s about helping people to get the best possible job as early on as possible!
We’re here to protect you. When you’re spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a project you don’t want to be told to knock it down and start again, get taken to court and end up paying as much again to fix it.

If you want to start some research, we recommend the following website, which is full of useful information:

Did you know if you have your windows changed this should be recorded through a competent person scheme or direct with us?

For more information regarding all sorts of work such as gas, roofs, insulation, electrics etc, check out the government website.

We look forward to working with you.

If you’re planning a building project, get in touch with John’s team at Peterborough City Council by visiting or calling on 01733 747474 or email

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