It is hoped that a successful criminal prosecution by Fareham Borough Council that led to Anglian Windows and their sub-contractor Steven Hines being fined thousands of pounds, will act as a deterrent to builders who blatantly disregard the importance of building regulations.
The council were alerted of problems being experienced by Wallington resident, Mrs Sonia Lloyd, in July 2014 when she advised cracks had appeared in the masonry walls above a new window and door set that had been installed in the rear of her house. She advised that the works had been carried out by Anglian Home Improvements who had been paid over £7,000 for the work.
The Building Control Partnership, which applies and enforces the Building Regulations on behalf of Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth City councils have enforcement powers under The Building Act to ensure that defective building works are corrected and to pursue proceedings against anyone who contravenes the regulations.
On visiting the property they were shocked to find the beam that had been installed was deflecting under the load from the walls, floor and roof above; this was causing a network of internal and external diagonal and horizontal cracking in the wall above the lintel. In order to stop further deflection or failure of the beam, steel props had been wedged underneath it.
Additionally, the amount of external wall remaining either side of the new opening was insufficient to ensure the support of the new beam and compromised the stability of the whole of the rear wall of the property.
Councillor Keith Evans, Executive Member for Planning & Development said: "As a council we do not take the decision to prosecute lightly but in this instance the severe nature and consequences of the breaches were so blatant, and had such a devastating impact on our resident Mrs Lloyd, that we had no choice. The criminal offences left Mrs Lloyd's home in a dangerous condition for a considerable period of time and fully warranted the criminal prosecution that followed.
"Building regulations are there for a purpose and I hope that this prosecution sends a message that carrying out structural alterations to properties, without heeding the requirements of Building Regulations, will not be tolerated."
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