So I asked him for copies, and subsequently fell off my chair! It seems as if the new Tory/Lib Dem government from October 2010 have been insisting on new rules first introduced by a Labour Government in 2006 being imposed on us more rigidly to correctly monitor the size of our wedge! In other words, how thick is your insulation? But the Lib Dems on NBC it seems have gone one step further.
My friends above had a new roof constructed by a friend in the trade and being climate friendly decided to upgrade the loft insulation at the same time. They shouldn't have been so eco minded as that act of green conscience has now cost them an additional £221.
The Council (who are never shy in issuing penalty notices or taking firm action against wrongdoers, see http://tonyclarkeindependent.blogspot.com/2010/02/theres-no-t-in-democracy.html) have told him "it is an offence not to send the notices required by the Building Regulations for change of use; failure to do so could make you liable to a fine. In addition, notice can be served on you requiring you to cut into, lay open or pull down sufficient of the works to ascertain whether there has been any contravention of the regulations" and then they threaten him with legal action if he doesn't comply.
He is fitting loft insulation for Christ's sake!!
Confused I did a trawl of the net and found that most Councils complied with the new law in as much as asking householders to apply for permission and be subject to inspection, but they sensibly waived the fee. It also seems that the measure is very hard to police and most councils sensibly turn a blind eye to everything but new build. But when has Liberal Democrat controlled Northampton Borough Council ever done the sensible thing?
The cost of getting someone in to insulate an average size loft is around £250, if you do it yourself then its a lot cheaper about £5 per sqM.
But in Lib Dem Northampton you can now add £221 to that bill! Hardly encourages you to be green does it? Best just leave well alone I guess?
The 2007 Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the Borough Council elections also told us that:
"To maximise the impact of environmental improvements we will investigate schemes to encourage home and building owners to 'retrofit' these environmental improvements to existing buildings. This may include increased insulation, solar heating schemes, grey water schemes etc."
Just how is charging an extra £221 encouraging home and building owners to retrofit insulation? Another meaningless Lib Dem promise sold out at the altar of High Conservatism. At least Cllr Perkins will be pleased.
Its not the Lib Dem's that are green it is us for ever believing them to be eco friendly in the first place