Part Q - Security - Dwellings

7 September 2016

The window for sites to have commenced to meet the transitional provisions for Part Q – Security (England only) closes shortly. Sites with Initial Notices submitted before 1 October 2015 can still meet the transitional provisions if a commencement is recorded before 1 October 2016.

From 1 October 2015, in England, a new building regulation - Part Q (Security – Dwellings) - was introduced.  This applies to all new dwellings on a site, including those formed by a material change of use.  The new provisions are broadly similar to those under Secured by Design and NHBC Standards.  The supporting guidance can be found in new Approved Document Q 2015 edition (Security – Dwellings) in NHBC Building Regulations Plus.

Transitional provisions for England

The new Part Q does not apply to building work that is subject of an initial notice, amendment notice, building notice or full plans submission served before 1 October 2015, provided that the work is commenced on site before 1 October 2016.

What constitutes a commencement of work?

The English Government has confirmed that in their opinion commencement of work would usually be marked by work such as:

  • excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings
  • drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned.
  • digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations
  • vibroflotation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving

In their opinion, the following sorts of work would not be likely to constitute the commencement of work:

  • removal of vegetation, top soil or removal/treatment of contaminated soil
  • general site servicing works (e.g. roadways)
  • demolition of any previous buildings on the site
  • excavation of trial holes
  • dynamic compaction

In some cases applications will be in respect of a number of buildings on a site, for example a number of houses. In such cases it is the commencement of work on the first of the buildings within the application which determines whether all the building work can take advantage of the transitional provisions, not each individual building.

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