London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the Assistant District Surveyors' Association, including Secretary's correspondence and papers; and subject files relating to building regulations and proposals affecting District Surveyors.
Extent: 0.30 linear metres
Classification: ASSOCIATIONS
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • Membership of the association was open to all assistant district surveyors employed in the District Surveyor's Offices in Inner London. The association was wound up on 3 March 1986 as a result of the impending abolition of the Greater London Council.

    The District Surveyor's Offices were part of the GLC Architect's Department. Building control in inner London was administered at a local level by district surveyors from the mid nineteenth century to 1986. District Surveyors were a statutory, independent body responsible for surveying and supervising all construction work in their districts. They inspected plans and buildings to ensure quality of construction and compliance with statutory requirements under London Building Acts and bye laws. Reports were made to the relevant central administrative authority. In latter years, together with the Building Regulations Division of the Greater London Council's Department of Architecture and Civic Design, district surveyors were responsible for executing the Council's statutory duties under the London Building Acts. Before the abolition of the GLC in 1986, there were about 300 district surveyors and 27 offices administering areas roughly equivalent in size to former metropolitan boroughs. Anyone wishing to construct or alter a building in inner London had to give notice to the relevant district surveyor two days before work was begun. Notice included submission of detailed plans and specifications of the proposed construction for inspection and approval by the district surveyor. Building work requested by the Council's Building Regulations Division, in relation to particular statutory requirements such as means of escape, structural fire precautions such as means of escape, structural fire precautions and waivers of bye-laws, had to be completed to the satisfaction of the district surveyor. Reports were made to the Council through the superintending Architect of Metropolitan Buildings. Where aspects of a proposed work contravened Building Acts or bye laws, the district surveyor could serve a "Notice of Objection" on the builder or owner. If work had begun or been completed a "Notice of Irregularity" could be served. Failure to comply constituted a serious offence. Appeals against decisions could be made to the Council and then to a Tribunal of Appeal. Income of district surveyors was paid by the Council based on the cost of buildings inspected. District surveyors had particular responsibility for dangerous neglected structures. They reported instances to the Council, surveyed and took any action necessary to remove immediate danger. They could also be called on to survey party structures and had the right to inspect buildings on which no notice had been served.
Creator: Assistant District Surveyors' Association
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records presented in May 1986
  • ACC/2281
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: ACC/2281/001-007: Secretary's papers; ACC/2281/008-012: Subject files.
Related Material: For records of the District Surveyor's Offices, see the papers of the GLC, reference GLC/AR/DS.