Crusade Building Services Ltd

DK

Crusade Building Services Ltd was one of the companies who worked on the conversion of Ross House, Ross Way, Folkestone for Ollie Davis. Crusade is owned by Daniel Knight (pictured) who gives his address as Connaught Rd, Folkestone, according to Companies House. However, Daniel no longer lives there and is currently residing in Marshall Street Folkestone, as we understand.

Now some of the work signed off by Folkestone & Hythe District Council Building Control department, with regards to Ross House, was undertaken by Daniel’s company.

Daniel’s company has a history of providing poor workmanship on building work his company undertakes, so much so Folkestone & Hythe District Council have issued a section 36 notice, as per the Building Act 1984 in Nov 2018. It is understood one family recently took him to court and brought a successful prosecution. We know of another who are currently in the middle of a legal case against Daniel’s company as well.  We know Daniel has outstanding County Court Judgements against him. We know of others who would love to take Daniel and his company to court, but simply don’t have the money.

Now according to Daniel’s company website it states Crusade Building Services is part of Checkatrade.com. However, Checkatrade make it very clear he is not a member. The website also says that Daniel’s company is KCC Trading Standards Approved

kcc

On all occasions Folkestone & Hythe District Council Building Control signed off the work for Crusade Building Services Ltd, including work they had undertaken on Ross House, Ross Way. And as you can see, one customer didn’t get mad, but got even by publishing all the glaring issues caused by Crusade Building Services workmanship on their house, and put it on Youtube.

Screenshot from 2019-11-14 10-37-23

Now at the time of Ross House conversion, Folkestone & Hythe District Council Building Control Principal Building Control Officer was Nick Lewington (pictured) who worked at F&HDC for 34 years and 10 months. He has now moved to Dover District Council.

Then there is Paul Hymers Senior Building Control Officer who has been at the Council for more than ten years.

Screenshot from 2019-11-14 10-32-25

Julie-Ann Darbishire (pictured) who is a Building Inspector and worked at Folkestone & Hythe District Council for more than 15 years.

There is no doubt that others may have worked and/or continue to work in the Building Control Department at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, who are signing off work not compliant with the Building Regulations.

Sources within Folkestone & Hythe District Council have commented that there may well have been some “irregularities” within the Building Control department, which is an understatement as it is clear Ross House was signed off when it should not have been.

We have in our possession paperwork and recordings of certain Council building control officers who have informed residents, who are having building work done on their homes:

  • “We [The Council’s Building Control Dept] cannot check everything we are supposed to because we don’t have the time, the staff, or the inclination.”

The Council’s transformation (read job losses) project has reduced staff numbers significantly. This has had and continues to affect the Health & Safety of residents across the district, who are having work undertaken on their properties. This is clear by the number of cases ending up in court, brought by private individuals, because the Council do not have “the inclination, the staff or the time,” to prosecute companies such as Crusade Building Services.

Perhaps the Council are not prosecuting because they are all too aware of their own failings, as there is clear evidence that their own building control department are not doing their job.

Dr Susan Priest

Moving on, it has been brought to our attention that two further properties owned by the Council and managed by East Kent Housing are not compliant with the fire regs, nor other elements of the building regulations, yet have been signed off by the Council’s building control. Evidence has been supplied to the Regulator of Social Housing. Dr Susan Priest (pictured), Head of Paid Services at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, was informed, however she has failed to respond to our public face when he informed her of these non-compliance issues. This demonstrates to us she doesn’t not care one iota about the tenants in Council housing she is ultimately responsible for.

As we understand, certain types of building works, such as Ross House (change of use) building control bodies, such as our Council are required to consult with the fire and rescue authority at certain stages within the process as prescribed by legislation (article 45 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and regulation 12 of the Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 2010). Article 45 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order requires consultation for the following types of work:

• Erection of a building

• Extension or structural alteration

• Change of use

Can the Council’s Building Control department prove beyond all reasonable doubt they consulted with Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS). We suspect this may NOT have happened as KFRS are not in the habit of signing off tinderboxes, we suspect.

So our advice is beware of Crusade Building Services, record all meetings and site inspections by Folkestone & Hythe District Council building control on any work you are having done, on any property where building control is required, and make sure Kent Fire and Rescue Service have been consulted by the Council’s Building control team.

If you have had issues with Crusade Building Services and/or the Council’s Building Control department, please do drop us a line. Everything is confidential and we do NOT reveal our sources.

Finally, Daniel Knight has been given the right of reply, but an answer there has come none.

shepwayvox[at]riseup[dot]net

The Shepwayvox Team

The Velvet Voices of Dissent.

About shepwayvox (922 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

4 Comments on Crusade Building Services Ltd

  1. This is what happens when you have a Conservative led council more interested in money and patronage than the people they represent.

  2. doggerbank56 // November 15, 2019 at 12:47 // Reply

    This is by far the most disturbing article I have read on the Shepway Vox website. I am not familiar with Crusade Building Services Ltd and based on the contents of your article I am very relieved. If Daniel Knight does not want to respond to your article one can only say that his silence is deafening.

    Equally worrying is the alleged conduct of the staff in the Council Building Control department. You may wish to investigate if any of the individuals identified are members of a professional body. If any of them are they could be placing their membership at risk by their actions/inaction.

    Clearly the multiple problems at Folkestone & Hythe District Council stem from a failure of leadership by both elected Councillors and the senior leadership team. Besides focusing on Dr Susan Priest you may also wish to consider the role of her predecessor Alistair Stewart.

    Dr Priest’s reluctance to respond to the concerns raised by your public face is probably as a result of her receiving legal advice to say nothing lest she make a bad situation even worse. In particular, the Council and its insurers will be concerned that they could find themselves on the receiving end of writs for breach of statutory duty (article below).

    https://bateswells.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bwb-p-rup-damagespas-sept2016-pdf.pdf

    Keep up the good work. This story will run and run.

  3. A Developer // November 15, 2019 at 15:40 // Reply

    As a developer who has worked in the Folkestone & Hythe District, representatives of our company were indirectly asked for “gifts” to help ease planning decisions and building control inspections. We have not returned to develop any further projects in the district. We reported it and nothing got done.

    Good work and keep digging as there are definitely “dodgy” people in both departments from what our company experienced.

  4. Perhaps if the council stopped hiring managers and directors at 100k plus salary to sit in meetings all day and contribute nothing meaningful, whilst sacking all their frontline staff who actually do the work, then they would be able to conduct basic checks and ensure it was to standard. The lack of staffing is a problem they have created by themselves by ditching most of their staff in favour of giving their mates high positions with big salaries. Just think how many people will be losing their jobs so that more unnecessary directors can be boosted up the social ladder.

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