Building regulations - a guide
What must I do to obtain approval?
Types of Building Regulations Submission
- deposit of Full Plans, or
- giving a Building Notice (except for work where the building is to be put to a use designated under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 such as a shop, office, hotel, boarding house, certain types of factory or workplace or building over a public sewer).
For a Full Plans application, plans need to be produced showing all constructional details, preferably well before you intend to start work on site. For the Building Notice procedure less detailed plans are required. In both these cases, your application or notice should be submitted to the Local Authority, and should be accompanied by any relevant structural calculations, to demonstrate compliance with safety requirements on the structure of the building. This should be undertaken by a competent person.
What are the differences between a Full Plans application and the Building Notice procedure? What might influence my choice?
- A Full Plans application will be thoroughly checked by the local authority who are required to pass or reject your plans within a certain time limit; or they may add conditions to an approval, with your written agreement. If they are satisfied that the work shown on the plans complies with the Regulations, you will be issued with an approval notice within five weeks, or, where extended by agreement, two months. This will give you the protection of being able to prove your plans were passed.
- An approval notice will not be given for a Building Notice, but the advantage of this procedure is that it allows you to carry out works without the need to prepare full plans e.g. for minor works. However, you must feel confident that the work will comply with the Regulations or you risk having to correct it at the request of the local authority (see 'What happens if I do work without approval?')
Work can start 48 hours after a Building Notice has been received by the Council.