Northern Ireland defective buildings law to be brought forward

Northern Ireland defective buildings law to be brought forward

New law to provide greater protection for the owners of defective properties in Northern Ireland is to be brought forward.

Northern Ireland’s communities minister Gordon Lyons said the move would bring an end to the “unfair disparity” between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In 2019, owners of the luxury Victoria Square apartments, a stone’s throw from the Royal Courts of Justice, had to vacate their homes amid safety fears about the structure of the building.

Their bid for compensation was struck out by the High Court in March. They were told their case could not move forward as claims have to be made within six years of a building’s completion under the law as it stands.

The timeframe in England and Wales, however, is 30 years.

DUP assembly member Mr Lyons said a proposed bill would introduced a retrospective period of up to 30 years.

The Victoria Square case “acutely highlighted the disparity” between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK, he, said.

“I am pleased to announce … that I intend to bring to the assembly, as a matter of urgency, legislation to provide the same protection associated with defective premises for citizens in Northern Ireland as afforded elsewhere in the UK,” Mr Lyons said.

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