Doubt over legitimacy of ‘trusted trader’ websites after BBC investigation

A BBC Inside Out investigation has cast doubts over the credibility of ‘trusted trader’ websites after it was found that fake profiles could be readily created on two such websites.

Although many of these types of sites have screening

processes in place, a BBC reporter managed to set up a handyman profile on both Rated People and MyBuilder, while also submitting fake positive feedback and five star ratings on his own listing. The reporter also found that with the help of friends, he could post and win bogus jobs, making the profile look even more legitimate. Commenting on the revelations, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE)’s CEO Kevin Wellman said: “While there is no doubt these type of online tools have their place, it is also implied that all tradespeople have been pre-vetted for competence, experience and professionalism, but this is simply not always the case.”

In light of the investigation causing confusion for consumers over where to find honest tradespeople, Wellman said: “Whether you’re using a trustworthy trader website, word of mouth recommendation or searching for a tradesperson via local adverts, we always advise that consumers get at least three quotes for work.” He also advises verifying their credentials, getting quotes in writing, asking for references and asking questions.

The CIPHE has an online Find a Plumber tool which provides a list of plumbers who abide by a six point Code of Professional Standards and hold industry-recognised qualifications.

New book explores the potential of self-build

UCL Press has published a new book, ‘Self-Build Homes: Social Discourse, Experiences and Directions’ a collection of essays that explore self-build’s potential for creating “homes that are more stylised, affordable and appropriate for the specific needs of households”. In particular, the book identifies that self-builds contribute homes to communities and not just houses. The book uses research into the self-build sector and combines it with commentary and insights from experts in the self-build and wider housing industry as well as self-builders themselves.

The book looks at what motivates self- builders to build their own home, and also includes the views of local residents, planners, policy managers and scholars. It also explores the potential self-build has for creating communities, particularly when it is in the form of a wider co- housing scheme.


20 custom-build plots have been granted consent on a site in Highweek near Newton Abbot, South Devon. Teignbridge District Council worked

with Devon County Council on the planning application. The site became available after a planned new link road was rerouted and its shape has dictated the type of housing suitable – a series of terraced and semi-detached units. The council’s plan for the site is to enlist a developer from whom people will be able to buy a build package, although as its self-build officer Charles Acland explained, it would still like to maintain some involvement. “We’re keen to capture learning from this site as it’s a first for Teignbridge and offers scope to create a showcase development,” he explained. “It offers the opportunity for it to be a design exemplar to establish what can be achieved with custom-build, so that we can show future potential buyers and developers what custom-build can look like.” Funding from Homes England enabled the negotiation for the rerouting of the

road and consequently the freeing up of the land. Teignbridge District Council already has strong ties to self- and custom-build, being an early adopter of it and the first authority to implement a percentage plan that sees 5 per cent of “large sites” allocated for custom- and self-build. Known as the ‘Teignbridge Rule’, it’s become a model for the allocation of land for this type of housing. Council leader Jeremy Christophers is also an ambassador for the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA)’s Right to Build Task Force. The 20 plot custom-build site is an additional part of a 1,000 home development

in the wider area, which under the Teignbridge Rule will also result in a further 50 serviced custom-build plots. 9

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60