You can apply for building regulations by using one of the following routes:
- Full plans application
- Building notice application
- Regularisation application
Each route is explained below, however building regulation rules can be complex depending on the type of building work being undertaken. For this reason, we advise you to contact building control for clarification.
Full plans application
With this type of application you submit an application form, the required fee and two copies of plans showing exactly how your proposal will be constructed. We then check the plans very carefully against the standards required by the building regulations and attempt to find all the problems at a time when they can most easily be corrected.
Once the plan has been approved, we then carry out inspections at regular intervals during construction. Everyone involved should know in advance exactly what is required and there should then be few nasty (or expensive!) surprises awaiting you. This is incidentally the main reason we check the plans so carefully in the first place - to guard against problems later when they maybe far more difficult and costly to put right.
Building notice application
With this type of application you are only required to submit an application form, block plan at a minimum scale of 1:1250 and the required fee. We do not normally require plans with a building notice application (other than a site plan if an extension is involved); hence you may not need the services of a designer or surveyor. However it maybe necessary to request plans or details to be submitted clarifying the construction process to establish that the works comply with the requirements of the building regulations.
The building notice system is often used for works to dwellings such as simple structural alterations, re-roofing, detached garages and outbuilding and re-roofing etc. It is not normally appropriate to use a building notice for anything other than domestic work, therefore if the proposal relates to anything else, such as commercial, industrial or retail, then a full plans application will be required.
The building notice system operates on the basis that work is checked on site as it is constructed, and each stage will therefore be approved by a building control officer once they have inspected the work and determined that it complies with the requirements of the building regulations. If upon inspection the work is deemed not to comply, then the person carrying out the work will be asked to alter or remove it.
A building notice must be deposited with us at least two days before any work starts on site.
Disadvantages of a building notice
Although a building notice may seem to be an attractive method by which to make an application to us because it is quick and does not require plans to be deposited, please consider the following before selecting this route: -
- As you are not required to deposit plans, no approval notice will be issued.
- As there is no approval of a design on paper before work on site begins, there is more risk attached to the construction process in ensuring compliance with the building regulations.
- There is no protection from prosecution for failure to comply with the building regulations that adhering to the design of an approved plan would offer.
- If as the result of an inspection building work has to be altered or removed, there will be a cost attached to doing this, which could easily outweigh the cost of having plans drawn for approval.
- Our charge for a building notice is exactly the same as the total charge for a full plans submission.
- If you made a full plans submission and then commenced work prior to the determination of the plans, the application would operate in the same way as a building notice during the interim period until the decision was issued.
It's not uncommon for building work to be undertaken without first gaining building regulation approval. Where this happens, problems often arise when it is time to sell your property.
A "regularisation application" is a retrospective application relating to previously unauthorised works such as works carried out without building regulations consent, commenced on or after the 11 November 1985.
The purpose of the process is to regularise the unauthorised works and obtain a "certificate of regularisation". Dependent on the circumstances, exposure, removal and/or rectification of works may be necessary to establish compliance with the building regulations. As such it is recommended that you contact building control to discuss your individual circumstances prior to submitting a "regularisation application".