Friday 15 January 2021

Housing minister presses ahead with private sector building inspector plan, despite warnings



Housing minister Stef Blok is pressing ahead with plans to switch responsibility for the supervision of building projects from council inspectors to the private sector.

His decision comes despite an experiment in The Hague which showed that building companies often deliver substandard work if they are supervised by private sector inspectors, the Volkskrant said.

The minister wants to introduce the change from 2018. The aim is to give the private sector more responsibility during the building process and greater liability after projects have been completed.

However, a pilot project in The Hague showed that private inspectors are more superficial in their approach and are reluctant to intervene when there are problems, the Volkskrant said, quoting a leaked report.


Among the issues spotted by council officials who supervised the experiment: technical failings, badly insulated roofs and ventilation systems which failed to meet standards.

In one case the buildings were in danger of collapse because steel support beams had been erected too far apart. Currently 102 families are living in new homes in The Hague which have not been certified as safe, the paper said.

Pilot projects in Delft and Rotterdam are proceeding more positively although no results have yet been published.

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