How is a Building Regulations application Made?
Full Plans Application
A building regulations application is made to the local authority, either as a full plans or building notice application.
If it is a full plans application, a copy of the existing and proposed plans are submitted with a specification and an appropriate fee, which the local authority then check for compliance with building regulations.
The local authority has to issue a decision within five weeks of the plan’s submission, but this may be extended by a further three weeks.
The local authority then has to issue an approval, which may or may not be conditional, or a rejection within this period in relation to the submitted application.
When works start on site, the applicant should notify the local authority of different stages of works so they can be inspected for compliance with building regulations. Upon satisfactory completion, a completion certificate will be issued to the applicant.
A building notice application is made to the local authority and is a very simple process that only requires the applicant to submit a completed form, site location plan and the full appropriate fee forty-eight hours before works commence. The local authority must accept it and cannot approve or reject it like as a full plans application, provided it is submitted correctly. Works are then inspected at various stages on site, and upon completion, a completion certificate will be issued to the applicant.
The local authority has the power to ask for additional information so that compliance with the building regulations can be checked, such as structural calculations or an electrical installation certification. However, a building notice cannot be submitted for works such as a new build, extension, conversion or alterations involving or altering the means of escape or fire safety measures in a non-domestic building or flats with common stairs. This is because plans and other design details are required, so that the means of escape and the associated fire safety measures can be checked and approved by building control and the necessary statutory consultations sent to the local fire authority.
The fire authority control and enforce other fire safety legislation that may affect the use, design or management of a building, such as that required under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005. We (building regulations), take the lead control and are responsible for ensuring the fire safety and means of escape measures that are incorporated into the design and building, are safe, and comply with the requirements of building regulations.
Initial Notice or Approved Inspector
Alternatively, a building regulations application can be made to a person or body who is an 'approved inspector' registered with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) who will submit an initial notice to the local authority where the work is going to be carried out, for their client.
The local authority then have a maximum of 5 working days to accept the initial notice and can only reject it if the initial notice is submitted incorrectly or does not contain adequate information.
The approved inspector will check the application, carry out statutory consultations with bodies such as the sewage contractor and fire authority where necessary, and ensure that the application complies with the requirements of building regulations. There is no fixed time scale for checking the application and it is up to the approved inspector and client to decide upon one.
The approved inspector can then provide their client with a plan certificate in place of an acceptance or approval notice. When the works start on site, the approved inspector or their agent, will carry out all the necessary inspections to ensure the works and building comply with the building regulations and upon completion, will issue a completion certificate to both the applicant and the local authority.