Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service
On advice from the government regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), surveyors are working from home. However, you must still notify us for an inspection. Please ensure you leave a phone number so we can call you to confirm whether we are able to visit. At this time we may accept photo evidence instead of a site visit.
See further information about changes to services.
If an application is required you will usually need to submit an application form, plan/details and the relevant fee to us. Your details will be processed and checked by qualified surveyors to ensure that they meet the appropriate building standards. If there is any doubt or if further clarification is required, our district building surveyors will contact you to verify details or indicate appropriate changes. It is very important that any changes are brought to the attention of your builder.
Whilst we will endeavour to assist you in any way we can, you may need to employ the services of consultants, such as a structural engineer, for more complex work. Certain aspects of building work, such as foundations and drainage do introduce certain unknown factors that cannot be resolved at this early stage.
There are basically 2 types of application, the Full Plans application and the Building Notice. Unless your proposal involves a building requiring a fire certificate, you may choose either. However, it is important that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both. A Full Plans application will need to be submitted if the work involves building over a main drain.
If you are making alterations to commercial premises you need to make a Full Plan application and enclose 3 sets of plans rather than 2.
If you have already done the work and need us to ensure it has been done in accordance with the building regulations you will need to apply for a Regularisation application.
If you are changing your windows and the person doing the work is not FENSA registered you will need to make a Building Notice application for replacement domestic windows, doors and rooflights.
With this type of application you submit two application forms together with the required fee and two copies of plans indicating exactly how your proposal will be constructed.
The plans are then checked against the standards required by the building regulations and any amendments are requested at an early stage, usually before work commences on site.
Once the plans have been submitted we will review your application without delay - it takes on average 10-15 days (often less) for us to carry out the required checks and notify you or your agent of their acceptability or the need for additional information. (Please call your surveyor if your application is more urgent)
Sometimes it is not possible for you to provide the information required, if this is the case we can issue a conditional approval. The necessary details can then be supplied at a later stage, prior to the commencement of that element of the work.
Once an application has been received and the work commences, we carry out inspections at regular intervals during construction.
Where the work commences after we have issued an approval the builder has the benefit of working in accordance with an approved plan and hopefully, there will be few surprises.
This form of application therefore, gives a degree of reassurance to both the applicant and the builder, as most details are agreed at an early stage. However, it is important to remember that during construction there are, on occasions, problems that may not have been evident at the design stage.
The fee for the application is generally paid in 2 instalments. The initial fee will be paid when the application is submitted and the remainder will be invoiced to you when the work starts. Careful consideration should be given to who will be responsible for the final payment.
When we are satisfied that the work complies with the relevant building regulations, as far as can be reasonably ascertained, a completion certificate will be issued. This is a very important document, as it will provide evidence that the work has been carried out to an acceptable standard. Applicants may choose to use this to ensure acceptability of the building work before they make the final payment to the builder. It will also help satisfy the requirements of financial institutions, mortgage companies and solicitors acting for future purchasers.
You will need to have a set of plans prepared to include all the information necessary to carry out the work – from the depth of the foundations to the height of the chimney.
Although some applicants do prepare their own plans, most will need to employ the services of a designer.
Most building work represents a considerable financial investment, therefore, it is important to take the time to ensure that you are getting a good job.
A Full Plans submission should contain:
- 2 completed Full Plan application forms
- 2 location plans to a scale of not less than 1:25000
- 2 copies of a Site or Block Plan showing the curtilage of the site, the buildings on that site and the proposed extension or new buildings. The Plan should be drawn to a scale of not less than 1:1250 and the North point should be indicated. The existing and new lines of both foul and surface water should be shown on the plans and the position, size and species of all trees within 30 metres (100 feet) of the proposed building
- sufficient plans, sections and elevations, drawn to a scale of not less than 1:50, together with notes to show and describe fully the proposed construction
- where the construction includes load-bearing beams, loading and structural calculations should be submitted to support the design
- the appropriate fee. Fees are available on request
All plans must be presented in a clear manner on suitable and durable material to a professional standard.
If you are building or carrying out building work to any commercial premises, place of work or other Fire Certificated building you may only submit a Full Plans application.
On major schemes the Local Authority may require the submission of ‘AS BUILT’ plans with all fire safety details fully recorded. These plans are retained for record purposes.
A completion certificate will be issued by us upon satisfactory completion of the work.
If the work is for commercial purposes we will require three copies of plans.
A Full Plans application will need to be submitted if the work involves building over a main drain.
With this type of application you are only required to submit an application form, a block plan (if an extension is involved) and the appropriate fee. The services of a designer are not essential.
Once the application has been submitted you can start work within 24 hours (please contact your surveyor to discuss if you intend starting immediately) (Building Notices do not require full detailed plans and are generally intended for domestic work when using competent builders) Plan Approval Notices are not given with Building Notice applications only Full Plan applications.
As no plans are needed you will obviously never receive the protection or reassurance that an approved plan will give you. However, if the proposal involves work of a complex nature, details may be requested, i.e. structural calculations, plans etc.,
The whole process of making sure your work complies with the building regulations is carried out at inspection stage. This has one major disadvantage, if a problem is found it will usually be after the work has been carried out and therefore will involve a degree of remedial work. With the Building Notice application you are effectively taking the whole risk of making sure the work complies with building regulations on your own shoulders and may find that the project costs a lot more than you have estimated.
You need to be very sure that you and your builder are familiar with all the relevant regulations and you will need to prove that the building work complies when the District Building Surveyor visits the site.
Whilst perhaps not strictly a Building Regulation issue, the existence of plans can form the basis of a contractual agreement between you and your builder and hopefully avoid and fundamental disputes at a later date.
When submitting the Building Notice the total fee has to be paid when the application is submitted. The Building Notice cannot be used if the work relates to a building covered by the Fire Precautions Act and/or the Workplace Regulations, (i.e. a place of employment such as a shop, factory, hotel etc.) In addition a Building Notice cannot be used if the work related to a building constructed on or adjacent to a sewer or private highway.
There can be a high risk factor with this type of application. Therefore, it is more suited to simpler projects.
A Building Notice submission should contain:
- 1 completed Building Notice application form
- if the proposal is for a new building or extension, the Notice should contain a site or location plan drawn to a scale of not less than 1:1250 showing the site, proposed work, boundaries and position of the public sewers
- the appropriate fee
Delays can occur in the smooth processing of an application if:
- the form is not completed properly or is unsigned and undated
- the fee is not correct, or a detailed estimate is not provided where relevant
- insufficient information is provided with your application
Please note that you cannot build over a main drain on a Building Notice, they will have to be submitted on a Full Plans application.
A completion certificate will be issued by us upon satisfactory completion of the work.
An application should be made where any underpinning work is to be undertaken to the structure of a building. However, this does not apply to the underpinning of any exempt building.
If any sanitary fittings, WC's, wash hand basins, baths, or showers, are to be fitted in any building, the fittings and their drainage will require an application to be made. The need for effective ventilation and drainage will be considered.
The re-covering of roofs with tiles is seen under the regulations as the replacement or renovation of a thermal element that requires the submission of an application under the Building Regulations.
In addition if tiles that are either heavier or lighter than the originals are used, there may be structural implications requiring the installation of additional roof members.
Conservatories and porches
Please use the Conservatories and porches enquiry form and we will confirm in writing to you whether a Building Notice Regulation application will be required for the proposed works regarding a conservatory or porch.
Please complete the Electrical safety form and we will confirm in writing to you whether a Building Notice application will be required for the proposed works.
Please return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where work has been carried out without building regulations approval an application may be submitted for a Regularisation Certificate(under Regulation 13A of the building regulations 1991 (as amended)). This regulation process can only be used for work commenced on, or after, 11 November 1985 where building regulations approval would have been required but was not sought. The work will need to comply with the building regulations in force at the time the work was carried out, therefore this date may need to be proved to us.
An application for a Regularisation Certificate should have the following:
- 2 copies of the Regularisation Certificate Submission application form
- 2 copies of plans and particulars showing how the alterations/building/extension(s) have been constructed. These need not be to scale, but should be sufficient to clearly show the work undertaken
A fee is payable at the time the Regularisation application is submitted. This is a single payment in respect of each building, to cover all site visits and consultations. The Fee attracts a premium on standard fees and is currently 120% of the equivalent Building Notice fee. No VAT is payable on this type of application.
When we receive an application for a Regularisation we will conduct an inspection of the work. We may require you to expose the work or have tests made, and provide samples of materials.
When we are satisfied that we have sufficient information to establish whether the work satisfies the relevant legislation we will notify you of any work that is needed in order to satisfy the legislation, or issue a Regularisation Certificate. We will continue to consult and provide checks until satisfied that any necessary remedial work is complete. As such there is no set limit on the amount of time it will take to issue a Regularisation Certificate.
However, we will not issue a Regularisation certificate until such time as the work complies with all relevant regulations.
When we are satisfied that the work complies with the Regulations you will be issued with a Regularisation Certificate, which should be kept in a safe place for reference in any future property transfers/sales.
There is no guarantee that existing work will be able to comply with the building regulations. In such cases we will be unable to issue a Regularisation Certificate.