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Essex Building Surveyors Association was formed in 1991 and represents Local Authority Building Control in Essex.

By working together we aim to help you comply with the Building Regulations and ensure uniformity of interpretation throughout the county.

If you are planning alterations, extensions or any new building, the information you need can be found from this website.

Essex Building Surveyors Associations is represented nationally by Local Authority Building Control (LABC) which provides a national marketing function to build awareness of local authority building control and influence new or revised regulations covering new technology, new building methods and environmental performance.


The Essex Building Surveyors Association (EBSA) comprises the heads of the building control services of all the local authorities in Essex. Our highly qualified teams throughout Essex include Chartered Surveyors, Building Engineers and many other disciplines providing professional knowledge and vast experience to all of our clients.

Basildon Borough Council

Braintree District Council

Brentwood Borough Council

Castle Point Borough Council

Chelmsford Borough Council

Colchester Borough Council

Epping Forest District Council

Harlow District Council

Maldon District Council

Rochford District Council

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Tendring District Council

Thurrock Borough Council

Uttlesford District Council



Historically, the first 'modern' association for Building Control outside London was the Guild of Municipal Building Inspectors, later to become the Institute of Building Control, both formed within the structure of the Institution of Municipal Engineers. In the mid 1970's the Essex Chief Technical Officers Association which consisted of the Directors of Technical Services in all 14 Essex authorities decided that a Building Control Group should be formed. This was called the Essex Building Regulations Liaison Group. The Group would be chaired by one of Directors and the principal aim was to provide a consistent approach to implementing and enforcing the Building Regulations across the County. Prior to the formation of the Group there was very little formal discussion between Building Control authorities outside London and other major cities.


The first Chairman was Brian Clarke of Southend and he was followed by Ken Whitehead of Harlow and finally Frank Scaife from Uttlesford. All were very much in the mould of the Borough Engineer, having structural and civil engineering qualifications. They all recognised the value of the Building Control profession and were great supporters of it. They also felt quite strongly about Building Control being brought under the wing of planners and were very much against it. Frank Scaife was also against the word Control in our job titles because he felt that this created a negative impression to our customers. He much preferred the word Surveyor, which more accurately described what we did. Everyone in the industry had heard of the District Surveyor. John Daynes of Maldon became the Groups first Secretary.


In the early 1990's, thoughts of independence from the Essex Chief Technical Officers Association were put forward. Derek Hince from Brentwood who was a great forward thinker (Type Approvals and cross boundary working being two examples) was a prime mover towards this approach. The retirement of Frank Scaife in 1992 provided an ideal opportunity for this to happen. Ernie Spencer from Uttlesford chaired the first meeting and remained its Chairman until 1999. Ben Jones from Rochford became Secretary, a position which he held until 1999.


It was agreed that the Group would be called the Essex Building Surveyors Association. Its constitution and way of working was very much modelled on the London District Surveyors Association (LDSA). This Group had been formed in 1985 with the demise of the GLC and was an amalgamation of the District Surveyors Association and the Greater London Building Surveyors Association (GLBSA). Ernie Spencer had been Secretary of GLBSA for 5 years and was also an honorary member of LDSA. Strong links were developed between the two Associations largely to the benefit of EBSA. Training sessions on Public Entertainment Licencing and the impact of the implementation of the Party Wall Act outside London are two examples of how extensive experience in these fields were brought to Essex.


The Essex Building Control Liaison Group and later EBSA were probably the first formally constituted Groups outside London and the major cities. Essex was credited with issuing the very first Type Approval and for obtaining a resolution from all Councils in the County agreeing to cross boundary working. The main component of which was plan checking for other local authorities during periods of staff shortages or spikes in workload. Through the Uttlesford court case with Econoloft, Approved Document K was significantly modified and the use of Space Saver staircases curtailed. The Dunbrik case (concrete flues constructed without the correct high alumina cement content) also resulted in Approved Document J being completely re-written.


Strong links were developed with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) and each year three training sessions were organised to enable all staff (local authority and fire prevention officers from ECFRS) to attend. Links were also established with the Essex Access Forum as a result of virtually all EBSA members being Access Officers for their respective local authorities and active members of their local Access Groups. For many years Paul Everall was Head of the Building Regulations Division at the Department of the Environment (now Department for Communities and Local Government) and he once said that he received more letters and representations from EBSA than any other organisation in the Country!!


In the early 1990's Building Surveyors within the County were increasingly becoming involved with the safety aspects of public entertainment licensing and upon the encouragement of ECFRS, EBSA formed a sub group in 1993. This group, Chaired by John Millbank of Braintree and then by Peter Smith of Epping with Alan Eames as Secretary, was hosted by ECFRS at its Brentwood headquarters. The group produced numerous guidance documents to assist Licensees and the consistent application of technical standards within the County. The group was disbanded in 2003 when the radical change in licensing legislation took place.

Founding Members of EBSA

David Smye(Basildon)

John Millbank (Braintree)

Mike Patey (Colchester)

Alan Eames (Castle Point)

Chris Dafforn (Chelmsford)

Peter Smith (Epping)

Derek Hince (Brentwood)

Derek Parkinson (Harlow)

Ben Jones (Rochford)

John Daynes (Maldon)

David Binns (Tendring)

John Pledger (Thurrock)

Steve Driscoll (Southend)

Ernie Spencer (Uttlesford)

Past Chairs and Secretaries of EBSA

Ernie Spencer (Uttlesford), 1992 until 1999

Ben Jones (Rochford), 1992 until 1999

Alan Leverett (Harlow),1999 until 2002

Stewart Kingsley (Chelmsford), 1999 until 2000

Colin Miles (Chelmsford), 2002 until 2005

John Millbank (Honorary retired), 2000 until 2008

John Pledger (Thurrock), 2005 until 2007

Alan Eames (Castle Point), 2007 until 2008

Andrew Savage (Chelmsford), 2008 until 2022

Ernie Spencer (Honorary retired), 2008 until 2022

Tony Tarran (Colchester), 2022 until 2023

(No Secretary in post)

Richard Snape (Rochford), 2023 -

Tony Tarran (Retired), 2023 - 



We undertake to deliver high quality building control services throughout Essex by having professional staff with extensive local knowledge and experience of a wide range of buildings and construction techniques.

To further the profession of Local Authority Building Control by providing a regular forum for the discussion of Building Regulations and allied matters affecting the local authorities served by members of the Association and where necessary, promote action thereon.

To arrange for the collation of information concerning Building Regulations along with allied matters and provide a means whereby the knowledge and experience of individual members can be made available to the body of membership and where possible to their authorities, Associations, Central Government and other relevant organisations.

To promote discussion on all matters of interest to members and to afford help and advice to members in the execution of their duties.

To disseminate amongst members information on all matters affecting them and to print, publish, issue and distribute such papers, periodicals, books, circulars and other literary undertakings as may seem conducive to any of these objectives.

To co-operate and liaise with relevant bodies concerned with the profession.

To promote the training and continuing professional development of those directly associated with the profession.

To support and protect the character, status and interests of the profession.

To aid with the promotion of Local Authority Building Control.



Castle Point        
Epping Forest  



Phil Jones
Paul Stephens     
Robert Sadler
Ian Grimwade
Peter Bayley          
Stephen Coby
Paul Smith
Steve Murray
Richard Snape              
Bernadette Bowden
Stuart Fyffe                    
John Farnell

Steve Howes
Liam Polwarth

Ian Fielding
Steve Long
Steve Osmaston
Roy Gillard


David Smye      Jim Owens
John Millbank*      David Jarvis      John Brett
Derek Hince     Cliff Constable    Gary Price-Sampson
Colin Miles   Andrew Savage*
Peter Tyler      Mike Patey  Tony Tarran
Peter Smith   John Kewshaw  Jeff Dixon
John Vanderloo   Alan Leverett  Richard Greaves  Len Davies             
Norman Wright  Colin Miles
Ben Jones      Allan Taylor
Barry Grimwade Steve  Driscoll*  Mike Sibbons     
David Binns      Alan Corbyn
John  Pledger   Chris Church      John Crates         
Keith Osborne      Ernie Spencer* 

*Denotes Honorary Member


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