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In Scotland the Dean of Guild Courts became almost exclusively concerned with building regulation in the Victorian era and continued in that role until their abolition in 1975.
After 1897 they too required plans to be submitted to them.
Complaints about building nuisances could be brought by one neighbour against another.The number of storeys and width of walls were carefully specified.Streets should be wide enough to act as a fire break.The mayor and aldermen settled such cases in a court called the Assize of Nuisance. Stone, brick and tile were safer materials within urban areas. As the population grew, space was at a premium within city walls. By the end of the Middle Ages tall, jettied timber houses overhung narrow streets in many a town and city.It was this pattern that fueled the Great Fire of London in 1666, which wiped out 80% of the city.