Chester’s MP Stephen Mosley will present a Ten Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons on Tuesday 5th February that aims to bring retaining and load-bearing walls within the remit of building regulations.
The motion seeks to address the dangerous current situation that exists in the UK where anyone can build a wall and pile tonnes of rubble up against, without the need for it to be inspected for safety.
The issue was highlighted to the North West MP by Chester residents Lindsay and Peter Burgess whose three year old daughter, Meg, was tragically killed when a 72ft long wall collapsed on top of her in 2008.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Mosley said:
“This is such a tragic case and serves to highlight the importance of proper regulation of the domestic building trade.
“As regulations currently stand, anyone in the UK could go away tomorrow and build a six foot high wall and dump tonnes of rubble up against it. There would is no obligation to seek official guidance, no requirement to consult with an experienced structural engineer, and it isn’t necessary for building control to inspect the finished article for safety.
“As Meg’s case so tragically underlines, retaining walls can be fatal. We should be doing all we can to ensure they are constructed soundly, for the safety of everyone in the UK.”
Following a lengthy court case last autumn, the builder responsible for Meg’s death, George Collier, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and was given a two year jail sentence.
Mr Mosley continued:
“Mr and Mrs Burgess have carried themselves with incredible dignity and strength over the past four and a half years, and now that they have achieved some justice for Meg, they are determined that no one else should have to go through the same experience.”