What is the difference between Planning and Building Consultancy Services?
It is important to realise that planning permission and building regulations approval are entirely separate. Many works requiring building regulations also need planning permission, whilst some require only one type of consent.
Planning permission relates mainly to the correct use of land, the aesthetic appearance of the proposed building and the effect that the development will have on the general environment and neighbouring properties, and also deals with listed buildings and conservation areas.
Building Regulations are concerned with the way in which the building is constructed and includes:-
- Structural stability,
- Means of escape,
- Fire precautions,
- Weather resistance,
- Energy conservation,
- Sound insulation, and
- Access and facilities for people with disabilities.
Find out what permissions are needed before building works begins with Planning and Regeneration Services
Is my building work exempt?
The Regulations apply to ‘building work’, however there are some works the regulations do not apply to.
‘Building work’ is defined as:
- The erection or extension of a building*
- Provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting** in or in connection with a building
- The insertion of insulating material into the cavity wall of a building
- Work involving the underpinning of a building
- A material alteration of a building or controlled service or fitting**. An alteration is material if at any stage the work or part of it were to result in:
- The building, controlled service or fitting not complying with the Regulations where it did previously, or
- The building, controlled service or fitting which did not comply with the Regulations being made more unsatisfactory
- Material change of use. If the building is changed so that it :-
Becomes a public building
Contains sleeping accommodation
Is altered to form a greater or lesser number of dwellings than there were previously
Then that change is regarded as a material change of use.
Even if there is no actual building work being proposed, the building must comply after its use has changed.
*Building – any permanent or temporary building. A reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building.
**Controlled services or fittings – those to which Parts G, H, J and L of the Building Regulations impose requirements. They include sanitary equipment, heating and hot water systems, drainage and waste disposal systems, window, substantially glazed doors and roof windows.
An application is always required for
- Loft conversions,
- Garage conversions,
- Attached garages,
- Replacement windows, doors (being a door which, together with its frame, has more than 50% of its internal face glazed) and rooflights,
- Removal of load-bearing walls,
- Cavity wall insulation,
- Underpinning works, and
- Work to commercial buildings.
- You are carrying out work to any commercial premises, place of work or other Fire Certified building, or
- Where the proposed work involves the erection, extension or underpinning of a building over, or in the vicinity of, a public sewer or drain.
- You have not provided the additional information requested within the 5 or 8 week period;
- Important information is missing from the application (e.g. structural design calculations);
- There is a major problem that will require the proposals being substantially redesigned;
- The plans do not provide enough information or are not accurate or detailed enough to enable us to check them satisfactorily; or
- The plans show major contraventions of the Building Regulations, which cannot easily be resolved.
This list is not exhaustive and we are happy to give specific advice regarding your project. For more information please contact us using the details at the top right hand box of this page.
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What type of application do I need to make?
There are two methods of making an application for Building Regulations. These are known as the Full Plans application and the Building Notice.
A Full Plans application is suitable for all building work.
Under this method the plans are examined by the Building Surveyor within an agreed 5 or 8 week period. During this we may request amendments and further information to grant you an Approval. When the plans are found to be in compliance with the Building Regulations, or are amended to bring them into compliance, an official approval certificate is issued.
The benefit of following this route is that if the work is carried out in accordance with the approved plans only minor contraventions, which can be easily corrected, should occur on site.
A Building Notice is suitable for minor works including replacement windows, cavity wall insulation and alteration works. Control of the work is carried out on site after each part is completed, and any contraventions of the Regulations discovered by the Building Surveyor may require the removal or alteration of the offending work.
A Building Notice places the emphasis on you and your builder to ensure that the work complies with Building Regulations.
Ensure that you are going to build before you make an application to us as no refund or part refund is permitted once the application has been submitted. You also have only 3 years to start the work, or you will have to submit a new application and a new fee.
A Building Notice may not be used if:-
Please note – if your proposed work is situated over or close to a public sewer a Building Notice will not be acceptable, a Full Plans application will therefore be necessary.
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Can I draw the plans myself?
You may choose to draw the plans if you have a sound knowledge of building construction and relevant Building Regulations. We recommend that you employ an architect, building surveyor or equivalent who will produce better results and possibly reduce any delay in getting an approval.
Do my neighbours have the right to object to what is proposed in my Building Regulation application?
No. There is no requirement in the Building Regulations to consult neighbours (although it would be courteous for you to do so).
Is there a time limit within which I have to carry out the work?
Yes. If the work has not started within 3 years of the deposit of plans, or submission of a Building Notice or Initial Notice, we may declare the application void.
If the owner still wishes to progress with the works, a new application should be submitted meeting current standards.
A further charge is payable.
Why might my plans be rejected?
If your plans are rejected it is usually for one of the following reasons:-
Unless the plans do show major contraventions, you will usually be contacted before a rejection is issued to provide you with the opportunity of responding to any queries we may have.
This is not a Building Consultancy Service. Please contact Planning or the National Heritage
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