Building Regulation Applications
How building regulation approval and planning permission differ.
Is Building Regulation Approval the same as Planning Permission?
No, there is a big difference. When you make a Planning Application the Development Control section look at issues like the appearance of the building, the effect it will have on adjoining properties etc. You will not be asked for details about how your building will be constructed – things like foundations, floors, roof and walls etc. These detailed constructional issues are dealt with under the Building Regulations for which a completely separate Building Regulation Application is required.
Do you need to apply separately for Planning Permission and Building Regulation consent?
Depending on your particular project you may only need Planning Permission, only Building Regulation consent, neither or both. If you are unsure which you need to apply for please contact us.
How do you make a Building Regulation application?
There are two main ways of making an application. You can use either a Full Plans Application or a Building Notice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Full Plans Applications – the advantages
1. With this type of application you submit an application form, the required fee and plans, including a site plan, showing exactly how your proposal will be constructed. We will then check the plans against the standards required by the Building Regulations and attempt to find any potential problems, which can then be corrected. Once the plan has been approved we then carry out inspections at regular intervals during construction. As everyone is working to the approved plan and knows what is required there should be few nasty or expensive surprises. This is the main reason why we check the plans carefully in the first place – to guard against problems later when they may be more difficult to put right.
2. The fee for the application is generally paid in two instalments – part when the application is submitted and the remainder will be invoiced to you when works start. This is not always the case, please refer to our fee sheet for more details.
Full Plans Applications – the disadvantages
1. You will need to have a set of very detailed plans drawn up to include all the information necessary to carry out the work – from foundation depth to the height of the chimney. Although some applicants do prepare these plans themselves, most need to employ a designer or Architect to do this for them. This can be expensive.
2. Once the plans have been submitted to us it takes about three weeks for us to carry out the required checks and notify you (or your agent) as to whether they are satisfactory or not. If additional information is required or the plans need to be amended then it often takes between 5 and 8 weeks for you to receive a decision.
Building Notice Applications – the advantages
1. With this type of application you are only required to submit an application form, the required fee and a site plan.
2. Once the notice has been submitted you only have to wait 48 hours before starting the work so there are no long time delays involved in this type of application.
Building Notice Applications – the disadvantages
1. As no plans are needed you will not receive the assurance that an Approved Plan would give you. The whole process of making sure that your work complies with the Building Regulations is carried out at the site inspection stage. This has one major disadvantage because if a problem is found it will usually be after the work has been carried out which you may then have to take down and do again. Please note that even if you choose to submit a plan with a Building Notice Application it will not be checked.
2. With a Building Notice Application you are taking the whole risk of making sure that the work complies with the Building Regulations. You need to be sure that you (or your builder) know all the relevant regulations and that you will be able to prove that the works comply to the Building Control Officer when they visit.
3. While not a Building Control problem, the absence of a plan can lead to disputes between clients and their builders. For example, if your extension turns out to be 100mm shorter than you expected (which perhaps means that the kitchen units do not fit), what
can you refer to when deciding who is responsible?
4. The total fee for the work has to be paid when the Building Notice is submitted as compared to the Full Plans Application, which is paid in two instalments.
5. Building Notices cannot be used for all types of work. Any building that needs a Fire Certificate for example must make a Full Plans Application. If you are not sure whether a Building Notice may be used for your project please contact us.
So which should you choose?
It is up to you, whichever choice you make we will be able to offer you guidance throughout your project.
For smaller work and with the benefit of an experienced builder a Building Notice Application is often an obvious choice and the majority of work is carried out without problems.
In both cases the application must be made before work starts, the total fee paid is the same and, when works have been competed to our satisfaction, you will be sent a completion certificate confirming that the works comply with the Building Regulations. The completion certificate is an important document, when you sell the property you will be asked for proof that any work carried out complied with all relevant regulations.
If you require further guidance or to request application forms please contacta member of the Building Control team either in person, by phone, fax or email.
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