The British Isles has a long history of legal controls on building construction, which have generated records of interest for building historians.This outline aims to explain the types of building control record and where to find them. The densely-packed housing of the capital created problems which could only be tackled communally. Thin party walls and badly-sited privies and gutters were other nuisances.
More commonly though towns sought to tackle a variety of problems through local improvement Acts.That disaster led to the London Building Act of 1667, the first to provide for surveyors to enforce its regulations.It laid down that all houses were to be built in brick or stone.In Scotland each medieval burgh operated a Dean of Guild Court, which dealt with rights of access and nuisances.So when the burghs began to develop building regulations in the 17th century, they fell within the remit of the Dean of Guild Court.
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It was a series of Public Health Acts that established a more consistent apparatus for controlling the urban fabric.