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A helpful little guide to complying with Building Regulations.....

 

What is Building Control?

All building work carried out should meet current building codes and regulation requirements. Building Control Service ensures that buildings are designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and associated legislation.

 

What is the difference between planning and building control?

It is generally realised that a form of permission is required for building work or alterations of properties. However, it may not always be clear how the Planning and Building Regulations approval regimes differ.

 

Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety for people in or around those buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and that facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

 

Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land and buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.

 

For many types of building work, separate permission under both regimes (separate processes) will be required. For other building work, such as internal alterations, Buildings Regulations approval will probably be needed, but Planning permission may not be.

 

How do i comply?

There are two methods of typically ensuring compliance with the building regulations, these are works carried out under a Building Notice & Full Plans Applications.

 

Full Plans Application

This application includes plans, specifications, and where necessary structural calculations. If you are undertaking commercial works, you can only submit under a Full Plan Application. The details are checked to make sure they comply with the regulations. Once the application is checked and found to be satisfactory it will be approved. If not a letter will be sent, advising what amendments and or additional information are required to enable an approval to be issued. If no response is received or the revisions submitted are not satisfactory we may have no alternative than to reject the application.

 

Advantages

  • The council must check your application and make a decision within statutory time limits.

  • Your builder works from approved plans so there is less chance of work having to be corrected during construction.

  • A Full Plans application may be necessary when borrowing money from a bank or building society to pay for the building work, as they usually ask to see an approval notice before they advance any funds.

  • An approval notice is issued which can then be passed onto any future purchaser of the premises.

  • You will gain peace of mind that your project will be safe, secure and that the process of construction is being monitored by qualified and experienced surveyors throughout the build.

 

Disadvantages

  • There may be a delay while your surveyor or architect, for which they will charge a fee, prepares plans. However, plans may already have been prepared for the planning application, where necessary, which may just require the addition of technical details and sectional drawings.

 

Building Notice

Building Notice applications should only be used for work which is not complex and by people experienced in construction. They can only be used for domestic and not commercial work. A Building Notice application must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to work commencing. The notice will be checked and if found to be satisfactory a letter will be sent acknowledging the application.

 

Advantages

  • Only a site plan needs to be prepared but sometimes detailed plans and calculations are required to support the application.

  • The time taken to process and acknowledge your application is less than a Full Plans application.

 

Disadvantages

  • Plans are not checked for compliance with the Building Regulations and no approval notice is issued, which may lead to work having to be altered on site and could increase the cost of the scheme

 

The fees for a Building Notice application in most cases are exactly the same as a Full Plans application, but you should note that the plan and inspection fee are paid on deposit of the application. These are nonrefundable.

 

It is important to note that a Building Notice is not acceptable or appropriate for commercial buildings or complex projects.