Published: Friday, 31st January 2020

A builder has been ordered to pay more than £11,000 after an extension he built in Walderslade failed to meet a number of building regulations.

In February 2018, South Thames Gateway (STG) Building Control Partnership, which provides building control services for Medway Council, received an application for a single storey rear extension for a property in Swallow Rise, Walderslade.

A building surveyor visited the home in April 2018, before the works began, and discussed the proposed extension with the homeowner. In November 2018 STG carried out their first inspection with the builder, Lee Goodearl of KG Builders Ltd, to review the foundations and to discuss the issues of a sewer and manhole which were included the proposed extension. STG requested that the builder contact the water supplier and get an agreement to move the manhole. It was also agreed that the next inspection would review the moved drainage.

On 27 February 2019, the homeowners contacted building control as they were concerned with the progress of the extension. They were advised that in November 2018, a building surveyor had visited the property to look at the foundations. However, the builder had not contacted STG since to arrange for a further inspection. Despite this, work continued; the walls and roof had been built, and windows and doors had been put in place. The walls and ceiling had also been plastered however, as no formal inspection had taken place, building control were unable to confirm that the works met building regulations.

The homeowners were told another inspection was needed and that certain elements of the extension would need to be exposed so they could check the building met building regulation standards.

A building surveyor visited the property in March 2019 and found that the construction of the extension breached a number of building regulations. The extension roof was not fixed to the main building properly and Goodearl had built over the manhole rather than moving it. The roof tiles that had been used were not suitable for the pitch of the roof and the extension had not been insulated properly. There were also potentially dangerous electrical problems with live wiring and the works were not installed to manufacturer’s guidance. 

The building surveyor wrote to Goodearl, of Shamley Road, Chatham, in March 2019, April 2019 and June 2019 to request a visit with him and to request that the outstanding works be carried out, however no formal reply has been received. Goodearl was prosecuted for failing to build the extension safely and in accordance with building regulations. 

The case was taken to Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 3 December 2019 and was adjourned until Thursday, 9 January 2020. Goodearl did not attend and the case was proved in his absence. 

Magistrates fined Goodearl £10,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £841 and a victim surcharge of £170, totalling £11,011.

Building regulations protect the safety of our residents

Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Enforcement, said: “It is imperative that all building works meet building regulations to protect the safety of our residents. I am absolutely appalled that in this case the builder deliberately abused the trust of his customers and took payments throughout the works which have left them out of pocket with a building which breaches building regulations. I would encourage anyone who has any doubts over whether building works have been completed to the required standard to contact building control to report their concerns.” 

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