Breaking rules costs builder £8,800

September 03 2018

A SPEEDWELL builder has been ordered to pay nearly £9,000 after installing dangerous electric work at two homes.

David Appleton, 63, of Speedwell Road, must pay a total of £8,806.76 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to breaching building regulation rules.

The prosecution was brought by South Gloucestershire Council after he was found to have installed dangerous electrical circuits at properties in Lyde Green and Downend.

The authority's building control team investigated and discovered more than 40 faults with new electric circuits, with more than 30 relating to dangerous faults requiring immediate attention.

At North Avon Magistrates’ Court, Appleton pleaded guilty to failing to comply with building regulations and was fined £4,000. He was also ordered to pay council costs of £4,298.76, compensation of £169 to each of the two home owners and a victim surcharge of £170, making a combined total of £8,806.76.

South Gloucestershire Councillor  Paul Hughes, cabinet member responsible for Communities and Tourism, said: "This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring the correct route is followed when undertaking any building work. 

"Construction is a complex arena where unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of customers’ unfamiliarity with legislation, and profit from cutting corners. Our building control team has a very important role to play in maintaining a level playing field for local businesses and to make sure householders can be confident that where unsatisfactory and unsafe work is evident it will be followed up."

Cllr Hughes said the council stepped in when a complaint was made and worked with NAPIT, a Government-approved registration body for the electrical industry, to bring the prosecution.

"The outcome proves that a hard line will be taken by the council on those who profiteer at the expense of others’ safety," he said.

David Cowburn, NAPIT’s chief operating officer, said: "I was delighted to hear the outcome of this court case, and I hope it sends a clear message that non-compliance with the building regulations is unacceptable. 

"This case also serves as a reminder that using qualified and competent electricians to undertake work can help to stop dangerous situations like these from arising. South Gloucestershire Council has set a fantastic example for local authorities across the country in pursuing this prosecution, and we would like other authorities to follow their lead to ensure that the building regulations are respected."

Residents who see or are affected by illegal building works are encouraged to report it by telephoning 01454 868004 or emailing building.control@southglos.gov.uk