Depending upon the scale and type of work involved you may have the option of following one of two different procedures available within this service:
- the deposit of a full plans application
- the giving of a building notice (except for certain types of building work – primarily in respect of fire safety issues where a building is used as a workplace or where it may affect a drain).
A full plans application:
An application deposited under this procedure needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details, preferably well in advance of when work is to start on site. Your local authority will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities (e.g. fire and sewerage). They must complete the procedure by issuing you with a decision within five weeks or, if you agree, a maximum of two months from the date of deposit. A charge will normally be payable upon submission of a full plans application – contact your Local Authority for further details.
The Building Notice method:
This procedure does not involve the passing or rejecting of plans. It therefore avoids the preperation of detailed "full plans", and is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small work. There are also specific exclusions in the regulations as to when building notices cannot be used, these are:
- building work which is subject to section 1 of the Fire Precuations Act 1971 or Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997;
- for work which will be built close to or over the top of rain water and foul drains shown on the 'map of sewers' (see paragraph 3.3); and
- where a new building will front onto a private street
If you decide to use this procedure you need to be confident that the work will comply with the Building Regulations or you will risk having to correct any work you carry out if your local authority requests this. In this respect you do not have the protection provided by the approval of 'full plans'. A fee will normally be payable when an application is submitted - please contact your Local Authority for further details.
A local authority is not required to issue a completion certificate under the 'building notice' procedure.
The Building Regulations provide for a property owner to apply to the local authority for a regularisation certificate in respect of 'unauthorised' building work. This means work which was carried out ater 11 November 1985 and which should of been submitted to the Building Regulations procedures but was not. You will be carged for this regularisation service.
In assessing compliance the local authority may request the 'opening up' of unauthorised work. The authority will then decide if remedial work needs to be carried out before the can issue a regularisation certificate. A regularisation certificate is evidence (but not conclusive evidence) that the requirements of the Building Regulations specified in the certificate have been complied with.
If you are concerned about unauthorised building work which was built before 11 November 1985 and which may not comply with the Building Regulations, you should discuss the problem with your local authority.