Frequently Asked Questions
are Building Regulations?
Building Regulations are a set of standards for the design and
construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health of people
who use and go around those buildings. They also include
requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and that
facilities are provided for people with disabilities.
Building Regulation Approval the same as Planning Permission?
No. These are two entirely separate functions. Planning
permission may be required even if the Building Regulations do not
apply as the proposal may be an exempt structure. Planning advice
is available from the Development Control Section.
What do I do on
When your work is finished you should contact your Building
Control officer to arrange a final inspection. It is recommend that
any final payments to builders are only made after the completion
inspection has been carried out and a completion certificate
Administers Building Regulations?
Surveyors in the Building Control Section perform this role. Our
qualified and experienced teams of surveyors will examine plans and
carry out site inspections of work in progress: Their extensive
knowledge of materials and construction methods and local
conditions is available to assist you at all stages of the
If you have carried out work without first obtaining the
necessary Building Regulation approval, you may experience
difficulty in selling the property or re-mortgaging.
If the work was done after the 11th November 1985, there is a
procedure that you can use to obtain permission
You should submit two copies of plans showing the work before
and after with full construction details, along with a
regularisation application form and the appropriate fee. This type
of fee does not attract VAT but is 125% of the normal fee (pre VAT)
as indicated in the fee advice tables.
Once your application is received, a surveyor will contact you
to arrange a visit to the premises and evaluate what has been done.
If remedial work is necessary this will be highlighted and once
corrected, a regulation certificate will be issued.
When do I need Building
- When you erect or extend a building
- When you materially alter a building e.g. carry out structural
alterations or alterations that have an effect on fire escape.
- When you extend or alter a controlled service within a building
e.g. install a WC
- When you want to change the building's fundamental use.
- When installing replacement windows using a Builder or window
company not FENSA registered.
- When electrical wiring work is undertaken by someone not
registered as an approved competent person.
- When renovating or replacing a thermal element of a building
(roof, wall or floor).
What do we mean by a
'Change of Use'?
- When a building that was not previously a dwelling is used as
- Where a building contains a flat where previously it did
- When a building is used as a hotel or institution where
previously it was not.
- When a building becomes a public building (e.g. school,
theatre, hall, church) where previously it was not.
I have assessed that I do need
Building Regulations Approval,
so what do I do next?
The two most common ways in which you can apply to us for
permission to build are:-
- depositing 'FULL PLANS'
- by the 'BUILDING NOTICE' procedure.
Note that if you are proposing to erect a building containing
offices or shops you must deposit 'FULL PLANS'
What are the
differences between the two procedures?
The benefits of the Full Plans
We will advise you on the Building Regulations at the design
stage of your project, which means your plans are more likely to be
passed by the Local Authority.
We will do our best to ensure that you have a decision usually
within 3 weeks - passed or conditionally approved.
You may save yourself the costly delays that can occur if you
work is not up to standard. The benefits of the Building Notice procedures are:-
Where the building proposals are for minor work the Building
Notice procedure is simpler than the full plans procedure.
If your proposed work is not too extensive or complex it is a
good idea to use a building notice, but your builder (or you) must
know what he is doing as rectification of work can be
There are no limits to it's use except as mentioned above where
the building contains a shop or an office.
Will I have to pay for Building
Yes, we are obliged to make a charge for the work of
administering the Regulations. The initial amount you have to pay
will depend on whether you choose the Full Plans or Building Notice
procedure. You should contact us so that we can provide you with a
competative fee for the building control work. You will be sent an
account for the balance of the fees after commencement.
When can I start work?
You do not have to wait for the plans to be passed before
starting work, however having them passed gives you some protection
against unnecessary costs. After you have given us a Building
Notice or sent us plans you can start work please try to give us 2
days notice. You may do this by telephone. If you proceed with the
work without having notified us you may be asked to undo it so that
the Building Control Officer can check whether it complies with the
Failure to tell the
If you carry out work without telling the Council you may be
committing a criminal offence for which you can receive a fine upon
conviction of up to £5,000. Problems can also arise in the future
if the property is sold and the relevant local authority searches
reveal that permission was not obtained.
Last Updated: 09.05.2011 at 09:05