ANDREW Leslie's Agenda contribution ("No need for more new-build red tape", The Herald September 19) seeks to falsely rubbish the Greenpeace claim that a higher degree of inspection and enforcement is required to improve the efficiency of new homes.

Of course the volume house builders want as little red tape or checks on them as possible – not least so they can continue to increase their dividend payouts. Thus they are already building the smallest homes in Europe. They have already persuaded the Scottish Government to remove the need for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) so they can build on dodgy sites. They are already leaving more than 20,000 new house purchasers in non-adopted new houses (where long term management of the estates does not transfer to the local Council).

But the privatisation of building warrant checks has also allowed them to self-certify – even where the pre-mixed mortar is poor, or where insulation of pre-fabricated walls has slipped (see the Rip-Off Britain programmes on these problems). They do not ensure open space management is community controlled (so "fleecehold" will be in the pipeline). And Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are done for the house type, and not for the house as actually built.

A limited "two-year warranty" (whether via NHBC or Premiere) is simply not long enough to protect purchasers from the corner-cutting going on.

Dave Sutton, Architect, Cambuslang.

Missing topic

THE Scottish Drugs Death Taskforce has convened for the first time ("Issue of the Day", The Herald, September 18). However no mention of the drug which causes by far most deaths in Scotland, that is alcohol. Perhaps the chair (Professor Catriona Matheson) would kindly explain.

Dr William Durward, Bearsden.