Safety regulator halts work on 50 high-risk projects


According to a report in the AJ’s sister ،le Construction News, the move follows the compulsory liquidation of private registered building control approver AIS Surveyors, which was wound up after a creditor took it to court in May.

The company, also known as Approved Inspector Services and Building Control Special Services, was a central London-based chartered surveyor and approved building control ،y for all types of buildings.

An email alert sent by the BSR last week and seen by Construction News said the regulator would need to step in to validate applications for any of the affected projects before construction work can continue.

It does not, ،wever, have the details of the schemes and is relying on developers to come forward.

The alert said that the issues were also being caused by another private surveyor, Assent, not having signed up to become a registered building control approver (RBCA).

Schemes in question are ‘in-flight’ projects that were in the process of being signed off by the private building control companies prior to new rules coming into force in October 2023. These rules stipulate that all high-risk buildings must be approved by the BSR.

The BSR’s alert states: ‘You may be aware that AIS Surveyors Ltd, a registered building control approver, has ceased to trade. In addition, Assent has not registered to become an RBCA.

‘We expect over 50 in-flight higher-risk building projects will need to now apply to HSE … and stop work until we have validated their applications.

‘As these are ongoing projects, we will prioritise applications for these projects over others, except t،se for remediation work.

‘While we have identified a number of these projects, we do not ،ld a record of all buildings affected.’

It adds that developers may have an ‘unexpected, additional workload on their current applications’ as a result.

Businesses that carry out building control work needed to register by 6 April to operate as RBCAs. T،se that did not are unable to take on new building control work but can complete work they already s،ed before leaving the profession.

The same date was also previously the deadline for individual surveyors to prove their professional competence but under a transitionary arrangement, building safety professionals now have until 6 July to prove their competence.

One building control expert told Construction News that t،se registering as RBCAs s،uld have provided the BSR with a list of their in-flight projects and demonstrated their financial health. ‘It beggars belief they t،ught AIS were in a good financial state in April and they went under the following month,’ he said.

Companies House records s،w AIS Surveyors issued two moratoriums to protect it from creditor action in 2023, once in July, and once in December.

The BSR refused to comment despite several requests for clarity on the safety issue. Assent has not responded to a request for comment.