I saw a mouse!

by Suw on January 11, 2004

There on the stair.
Where on the stair?
Right there!
A little mouse with clogs on!
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety clop on the stair.

Right there!

Except not anymore. Yesterday there were stairs going from the first floor landing up to the office in the loft. Today, there are not. And all because the lady loves Milk Tray… er, no, all because the council's planning department are a bunch of tossers and have ordered my parents to remove some perfectly useble stairs from a perfectly useble loft – which hasn't fallen in or collapsed in the seven years it's been in use – because they changed the building regs after it was finished and it's now classified as 'uninhabitable' and 'dangerous'.

How does the lack of 15cm of insulation make a room dangerous? Or a ceiling which is perfectly high enough for even a tall man to stand up under but yet not quite 2m? Or stairs which go (went) round a corner even though there's a landing perfectly large enough to allow three or even four people to stand about having cocktails, if that were to be what they wished to do?

I fully comprehend the need for building regs, but I do not understand why they have become so ludicrously tight, and why a bit of leeway can't be given for building that have been up since before the regs came into force.

Our neighbour here is a builder and has been all his life. He has an excellent reputation, a waiting list of clients, and a thriving business. He's also jacking it all in because the new regs are so extreme that they make business more hassle than it's worth. Half the planning officers haven't got a clue how the new regs should be interpreted and each one you talk to has a different story. You do what one guy says and the next one along tells you you've done it wrong.

This is nanny-state-ism at its worst. Regulations should be there to protect the populous, not to provide little Hitlers with a job for life or put tradesmen out of business.

Steve Kane January 11, 2004 at 6:57 pm

I thought the latest thing was to say that everything could pose a terrorist threat. Who knows, Bin Laden could be up in your loft so, obviously, the stairs should be removed.


Visit me @ http://www.steve-kane.co.uk

Suw January 11, 2004 at 11:11 pm

LOL. very good point. just don't tell the council…

Steve Kane January 12, 2004 at 1:16 pm

Or maybe they will finally discover Saddam's stash of WDMs up in your loft. Well, they must be somewhere coz Blair and Bush said that they definitely had them (although I notice that Blair is increasingly backtracking and in an interview with David Frost over the weekend admitted that it is increasingly doubtful that they will find any WDMs. Ha!)

Visit me @ http://www.steve-kane.co.uk

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