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24Sep92 UK: LEGAL LOOPHOLE PROMPTS CARRICK DISTRICT COUNCIL TO WITHDRAW FIRE REGULATION CHARGE AGAINST MABEY DEVELOPMENTS.

A builder seems to have found a loophole in the building regulations after claiming Crown Immunity from prosecution because it was working on a job centre.Mabey Developments (South West) of Plymouth was charged before magistrates in Truro, Cornwall, this week with contravening requirements in the regulations on fire escapes and internal fire spread.Carrick District Council withdrew the charges after the firm claimed Crown Immunity because the building ha been leased to the Government as a job centre.Its solicitor said after the case that the council did not consider that all the issues had been covered.He said the property had been built speculatively, marketed and then left. The council was dealing with the safety of the public.Mabey Developments was not represented in court, and a spokesman for its solicitor would say only that Carrick had brought the charges and Carrick had withdrawn them.