Building control applications

Application process

Before starting any building work you must apply to the local authority to gain permission. This may be a full plans application or, in certain circumstances, a building notice application (see below).

You must pay the correct fee and provide the information we ask for to help our surveyors check the work you plan to carry out.

Read our guides

Full plans application 

This can be used for all building work, but you must complete this application when works relate to:

  • buildings covered under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including all commercial properties, offices, shops, factories, industrial properties and workplaces
  • residential properties which have shared areas, including flats, maisonettes, hotels and houses in multiple occupation (for example, rooms for rent in houses)
  • building extensions which are to be built over, or within, three metres of a public sewer
  • a building that is facing a private road

This is to be used when Approval of Plans is required, Building is put to a "Designated Use" or "Workplace" or when Building over (or near to) a sewer. You must send us detailed construction drawings, specifications and calculations (if necessary) with your application form and fee.

We will approve your application fully, or with conditions, when we are satisfied the work will meet the standards set out in the building regulations.

We aim to provide a response within three weeks. We will give you a completion certificate after we have inspected the site and approved the work.  

Approved plans are valid for three years. If you have not started work within this time, you must make a new application and pay again.

Building notice application

This is needed for smaller projects such as alterations to create a bathroom, recovering a roof, minor structural changes and small extensions; applies to residential use only.

It is very important your builder knows how to meet the standards set out in the building regulations. If the work includes a new building, or an extension, you must send plans showing where the work will take place and details of drainage.

We may ask for construction details or calculations to help us decide whether your work meets the regulations.

As with a full plans application, if you do not start work within three years, your application will no longer be valid and we cannot refund the fee you have paid.

Regularisation application

Where you have carried out work without making an application under the building regulations, we may accept a regularisation application; applies to unauthorised works commenced on or after 11th November 1985.

You must show how the work has been carried out, including plans and structural calculations, as well as plans for putting right any work that does not meet regulations standards.

Building control charges apply and we may still consider taking legal action against you.

You should also check to make sure that you have a received any necessary planning permission.