The local authority is not liable to the claimant for giving planning approval for a defectively designed building the new building turns out to be defective, perhaps even unfit for human habitation.

The new owner complains. Nobody will accept responsibility so legal proceedings commence. The defendants may be the vendor, developer, architect, engineer, building contractor, the National House Building Council, the local planning authority, the building inspector or the government department.

The alleged defects under the Defective Premises Act 1972 may relate to fire safety, ventilation, sanitation, heating and insulation – or the building regulations may not have been complied with.

All those who worked in connec...

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