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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent.