Many owners/occupiers of small premises [so I'm told] are either -
- holding off improving their premises
- not doing works which might normally attract the need for a fire cert and/or planning permission, or else
- doing the works but getting neither FC or DAC because of the onerous DAC requirements and ridiculous fee cost.
Like another piece of legislation I could name it is clear that there should be a grandfather clause for older builders.
The cost of wholesale upgrades can only be borne by a commercial new building development.
Why there was even a perceived need for a DAC at is unclear, because all the DOEHLG had to do is stop the several local authority building control officers sporting their figures off on YET ANOTHER COURSE / SEMINAR (!) and tell them to get their hands dirty doing some actual productive work in their own functional area and enforcing Part M!
This would have resulted in more work being done to premises that needed it, as opposed to targeting all premises with a broad brush and taking €800 out of the available finance which could have been put towards the cost of the works/professional fees.
Small businesses are the backbone of any local economy, not FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) super-corporations, who take their tax here under a flag of convenience (like in shipping) at 12.5% but employ their people in India.
Many small businesses occupy older premises where the existing building may not be not up to current building regulation or newer fire safety requirements.
Given the current reluctance to catering for disabled persons and the previous non-compliance, I think the DOEHLG and the government in general need to look at this sector again, because placing onerous requirements on small shop owners and struggling local businesses in at any time is stupid, but in a recession its criminal.