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Which Application Procedure to Use

Building Notice or Full Plans Application

Building Notice

 

Plans are not required with this process so it's quicker and less detailed than the full plans application. It 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:

  • For building work in relation to a building to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies, or will apply after the completion of the building work.
  • For work which will be built close to or over the top of rain water and foul drains shown on the 'map of sewers'
  • 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'.

Once you have given your 'building notice' and informed your local authority that you are about to start work, the work will be inspected as it progresses. You will be advised by the authority if the work does not comply with the building regulations. If before the start of work, or while work is in progress, your local authority requires further information such as structural design calculations or plans, you must supply the details requested.

A 'building notice' is valid for three years from the date the notice was given to the local authority, after which it will automatically lapse if the building work has not commenced.

 

Full Plans

 

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.

If your plans comply with the building regulations you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If your local authority is not satisfied you may be asked to make amendments or provide more details. Alternatively, a conditional approval may be issued. This will either specify modifications which must be made to the plans; or will specify further plans which must be deposited with your authority.

Your local authority may only apply conditions if you have either requested them to do so or have consented to them doing so. A request or consent must be made in writing. If your plans are rejected the reasons will be stated in the notice. A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date the plans were deposited, after which the local authority may send you a notice to declare the approval of no effect if the building work has not commenced.

Your local authority will carry out inspections of the building work once it is in progress. They will explain about the notification procedures which the regulations require you to follow at various stages of the work - e.g. in connection with foundations, damp proof courses and drains. In addition, if you request one when you first make your application, the local authority will issue you with a completion certificate provided they are content that the completed work complies with the building regulations.