This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
Persons engaged in washing and mangling clothes may be required to furnish a list of the names and addresses of their customers to the Local Authority, the
Authority making a small payment for the same (ibid., Section 49). A similar list of customers may have to be furnished by dairymen, where there are good grounds of suspicion that an outbreak of infectious disease is associated with a particular milk-supply, as well as the names and addresses of farmers, dairymen, or other parties, from whom they have had the milk (ibid., Section 61).
The isolation of cases of infection likely to be dangerous to the public is ensured by an important amendment in the wording of the older law: - "Any person suffering from any infectious disease, who is without proper lodging or accommodation, or is so lodged that proper precautions cannot be taken for preventing the spread of the disease, or is lodged in a tent or van, or in a room occupied by others beesides those necessarily in attendance on such person, or is on board a ship", may be removed to hospital (ibid., Section 54). In cases of outbreaks of infectious disease connected with particular milk-supplies, the sections borrowed from the Infectious Diseases Prevention Act are amended so as to make the action of the Local Authority and the sanitary officers fairly prompt (ibid., Section 60). The rest of the Scotch law with regard to infectious disease scarcely differs from that in force in districts under the Public Health Act of 1875.
(65.) Provisions as to Buildings. Previous to the passing of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897, the burghs under the Police Act and the large towns alone could deal with the sanitary appliances and the structure of new buildings. In the other parts of Scotland a nuisance from faulty construction could be abated, but not inhibited; this is now remedied by the new Act.
I. - Burghs. A special feature in Scotland is a court which the Commissioners of every Burgh have a right to establish, under the name of the "Dean of Guild Court"; this court is a very ancient institution, one of its functions being the supervision of the construction of buildings and of sanitary works. The Dean of Guild Court is practically a Works Committee of the Local Authority, and the important functions of this supervision are often discharged by the Guild Court.
New buildings have to be constructed with a damp-proof course, the gables and party walls must be solid and the walls impervious to damp, the mortar must be good, and the plumbing work must be tested. Before a new house is built, or before an old house is altered, petitions containing full details as to the proposed building or proposed alterations must be lodged before the Commissioners. All rooms in new or altered houses must be efficiently lighted and ventilated from the street, or from an open space representing three-fourths of the area on which the house stands. Not more than twelve flats may open from an inside stair, nor more than twenty-four from an outside stair. There are provisions for adequate height of rooms, and for window-space. The erection of buildings on improper sites, such as ground impregnated with focal matter, is prohibited, and no new house can be occupied in a Burgh until a certificate of fitness for occupation is issued by the Burgh Surveyor.
II. - New powers given by the Public Health (Scotland) Act to Local Authorities other than Burgh Commissioners. By Section 181, Public Health (Scotland) Act, the Local Authority of any district other than a burgh may, subject to the approval of the County Council, make by-laws for the whole or any part of their district for regulating the building or rebuilding of houses or buildings, or the use for human habitation of any building not previously so used, or any alteration in the mode of occupancy of any existing house, in such a manner as will increase the number of separate houses, in respect to the following matters: -
(a) The drainage of the subsoil of Bites and the prevention of dampness in houses intended for human habitation; (b) The structure of walls, foundation, roofs, and chimneys of new buildings, in so far as likely to affect human health; (c) The ventilation of houses and buildings intended for human habitation;
(d) The sufficiency of the space about buildings to secure a free circulation of air;
(e) The construction and arrangement "of the drainage of houses and buildings, and of soil-pipes and waste pipes, and the construction and position of water-closets, earth-closets, privies, ash-pits, cesspools, dung-steads, slop-sinks, and rain-water pipes and rhones;
(f) The production of suitable building-plans in respect of the matt mentioned in this section, and their inspection;
(g) The intimation previous to the commencement, by the owner or person laying out the work, to the Local Authority, of the date of the commencement, and for the due inspection (in respect of the matters mentioned in this section) of houses or buildings in process of erection or alteration, and the examination of the drains thereof, and for the pulling down, alteration, or amendment of any work which has been carried out in contravention of the by-laws; "In making such by-laws, the Local Authority shall have regard to the special circumstances of their district, or the part thereof to which such by-laws relate".
Under Section 182 it is made illegal to erect new buildings on any ground which has been filled up "with any matter impregnated with fiscal, animal or vegetable matter, or upon which any such matter has been deposited, unless and until such matter shall have been properly removed by excavation or otherwise, or shall have been rendered or have become innocuous". The penalty for default is £5 or less, and a daily penalty not exceeding 40s.