HC Deb 26 June 1980 vol 987 cc290-1W
Dr. John Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what statutory or other criteria must be satisfied for the granting of planning permission for building and construction work on land, such as that at Hodbarrow, Millom, Cumbria, that has been heavily undermined, to ensure that the land is safe to build on; and what subsequent inspections are carried out, and by whom, once work has commenced to ensure that such regulations have been complied with.

Mr. Fox

Planning permission does not carry with it any assurance that land is safe to build on, although permission may be withheld if land is known to be unsafe. The onus for ascertaining the stability of land rests with the person proposing to build on it. He would be required to comply with the building regulations which, inter alia, provide that the foundations of a building shall safely sustain and transmit to the ground the combined loads in such a manner as not to cause any settlement which would impair the stability of the building. The local authority has the responsibility for enforcing the regulations and the developer would have to satisfy it that the proposed foundations meet the requirements of the regulations. It has the right to inspect the works and has to be notified at certain stages.