A pioneering public sector planning and development consultancy says it is helping overcome a ‘crisis’ in the construction industry caused by a lack of building inspectors.

Telford-based apT says its unique position within Telford & Wrekin Council means it has not been hit by a huge rise in insurance costs, or the inability to gain insurance, which has forced some private sector building control bodies out of business leading to delays across the country in signing projects off.

Industry trade body the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors (ACAI), which represents private building control bodies, says the problem has become so bad the industry is at ‘crisis point’.

But apT’s Team Manager Joe Strafford said the consultancy’s position within Telford & Wrekin meant it could continue to offer the construction industry a tried, tested and high-quality service.

“Professional indemnity and public liability insurance is mandatory for private sector building inspectors and unfortunately some Approved Inspectors are unable to gain insurance and others are finding that the cost of these has soared in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy,” Joe said.

“That has caused problems for a number of companies in the private sector. As a result more developers and contractors are turning to us for building control approval work because of our local authority background.

“We can offer the reassurance of our local authority background, we are local and know the area. For example, our qualified and experienced surveyors have the best knowledge of local ground conditions, local sites and local history so they can respond quickly in the event of problems.

“As part of the Local Authority Building Control organisation we have unrivalled technical expertise and a passion for helping promote new, innovative work. We work alongside the industry to prevent problems before they begin, offering free advice even before work starts, and have a team of surveyors who will help you find solutions to get the job done quickly and cost-effectively.

“That all means that not only are we a safe bet at a difficult time, but we can provide the depth of service which many private inspectors are unable to match.”

The ACAI said the problems in the private sector were putting the futures of many businesses at real risk.

“Statutory regulations on professional indemnity and public liability insurance are currently excessively stringent, meaning many insurers are unwilling to provide cover for inspectors. This is creating a crisis point within the building control industry,” the organisation said.

apT is the Midlands’ first public sector commercial planning, development and environmental consultancy.

For more details of the services apT provides visit http://www.apt-group.co.uk/