Making an Application
Anyone intending to carry out work to which Building Regulations apply must lodge an application with their local Building Control Office. Examples of such work are:
- Erecting a new building
- Extending an existing building
- Changing the use of a building (eg house to offices)
- Converting a roofspace or garage
- Carrying out structural alterations - for example:-
- Replacing existing walls, floors, roofs, stairs
- Making two rooms into one
- Removal of a chimney breast
- Installing cavity wall insulation
- Drylining walls or lining walls/ceilings with sheeting or boarding
- Provision of services of fittings - for example:
- Installation of a fire detection and alarm system
- Installation of central heating
- Replacement/relining flues
- Installation of new sanitary appliances
What must you do?
Where an application is required for domestic works, there is a choice of two procedures:
- a Full Plans Application; or
- a Building Notice
Where the work has been completed illegally, (ie without a Building Control Application) and the owner now wishes to have it approved, a third form of application is required called: Regularisation
Some building works are exempt, and do not require an application, examples of these are:
- Certain porches, conservatories, open carports or covered areas being extensions not exceeding 30m2 in area
- Certain detached garages and single storey buildings not exceeding 30m2 in area
- Certain sheds not exceeding 15m2 in area; or certain agricultural buildings: fences, garden walls, gates, certain greenhouses
- Replacement windows, with similar style
- Replacement sanitary fittings
If you require verification that your scheme is exempt, you may apply for a Conformation of Exemption letter at a cost of £15.00.
A Building Notice may only be for domestic schemes. With a Building Notice, plans are not required. You simply complete an application form, describing the work you intend to carry out, and pay the appropriate fee.
Building Notices are particularly suited to smaller, less complex schemes. The Builder should be familiar with the standards in the Building Regulations as there is no approved plans to work from. If he creates a contravention he will be asked to remedy it. Building Control will concentrate on site inspections, as there are no drawings of the project.
The disadvantage of Building Notices are that many lending institutions insist on having approved plans prior to issuing any funds. There are no approved plans to enable accurate tendering, and critically you will not have the expert advice of a professional architect or designer to guide you through the process.
Full Plan Application
A full plans submission requires you to complete a standard application form available from your local Building Control office and to provide the following documents:
Two copies of proposed plans, sections, constructional details, specifications, and in the case of an extension or alteration two copies of existing plans
Two copies of a site location plan to scale and two copies of a block plan
For non-domestic work, a further two sets of plans showing compliance with fire safety regulations are required, so that we can consult with the Fire Brigade on your behalf.
You may submit the application yourself or engage someone to do it for you. You are advised to select a suitably qualified and competent architect/agent who has a good working knowledge of Building Regulations; this may speed up the process of your application. If an agent is employed, all correspondence will be addressed to him or her. In all cases a full name and postal address must be provided to allow the Building Control Service to contact either yourself or your agent. The full postal address of the property to be developed should also be included and the application form signed and dated.
Where works are carried out without an application having been made the owner may be prosecuted. However to facilitate people who wish to have work approved, in 1999 Building Control introduced a new process call Regularisation. If you wish to sell your property the purchaser's solicitor may wish to see evidence of this approval. If these are not available it may delay or prevent the sale.
Applying for Regularisation has been kept as simple as possible. Simply complete the Regularisation form, stating the address of the property, a description of the work and the date it was carried out. When you submit the application form and pay the appropriate fee, you may arrange an appointment for the Area Surveyor to inspect the work.
If you are considering making an application and need some advice on a specific project, we provide a free pre-application consultation. Remember to keep all approvals in a safe location.
In addition to Building Control, it may be necessary to obtain Planning Permision for your scheme. Advice on this can be obtained from the Planning Office.
The Building Control staff in Down District Council will be glad to help anyone who has a query about any Building Control matter.
Downshire Civic Centre
T: 0 28 4461 0829
F: 0 28 4461 0845