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.
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.
About the regulations
We have a legal duty to ensure any building work in Brent is carried out in line with regulations. We do this by approving plans and inspecting building work on site.
You need approval under the building regulations if you are going to:
- build a new building, extend, alter or change the use of an existing building
- install fittings like toilets, sinks, showers, washing machines or drains
- carry out structural alterations, including removing walls or chimney breasts
- recovering a roof, replacing windows or doors or underpinning a building's foundations
- carry out any work affecting Part L - conservation of fuel and power (including re-plastering walls or laying new floors)
- install or replace services such as electrical work (see Approved Document P).
- carry out any other work which is controlled under the building regulations
Building regulations set out minimum standards for the health and safety of people who live, work in or visit buildings.
The regulations also look at conserving energy and making sure that people, particularly those with disabilities, can access and use buildings.
More useful information can be found from the links on the right of the page.
If you are having construction or refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well. Find out more.