Whether or not planning permission is required, anyone wanting to carry out building work is required by law to make sure it complies with the relevant Building Regulations. These are designed to ensure that the finished building is both safe, healthy and energy efficient.
- Any project that involves extending or altering the structure of the building, or providing services, such as WCs, showers, sinks, hot water cylinders, gas appliances, ventilation, electrical installations and new windows is likely to be subject to the Building Regulations.
- Although a conservatory may not be subject to Building Regulations, you must ensure that it does not restrict ladder access to windows serving a room in the roof intended as a means of escape if there is a fire.
- The primary responsibility for compliance rests with the person carrying out the building work. If you employ a builder, the responsibility will usually be theirs – but make sure you check.
- If the work doesn't comply, the owner of the building may be served with the enforcement notice, so it is important to choose your builder carefully.
- Your local Council's building control department will tell you whether you need Building Regulations approval and how to apply.
- There are two means of application - a Full Plans application or the Building Notice procedure. Both require the payment of the appropriate fee. An additional inspection charge is made on a Full Plans application.
- A Full Plans application will be checked by building control officers and you will receive written confirmation from the Council that the work planned meets the Building Regulations.
- The Building Notice procedure is designed to enable you to start work quickly. Work can start on site two working days after submitting the notice.
- Throughout the build you, or your builder, must notify building control as work reaches certain stages so that it can be inspected. If you don’t, the building control officer can ask for the work to be uncovered.
- On a Full Plans application, providing the work is satisfactory, a completion certificate should be issued. There is no requirement for the Council to do this under the Building Notice procedure.
For more information, contact your local Council for a free explanatory booklet, Building Regulations, or download it from www.odpm.gov.uk.
The Local Authority Building Control
Scottish Association of Chief Building Control Officers
Building Control Northern Ireland
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Planning Portal Building Regulations