Building Control FAQs
- Q1: Building Notice
- Q2: Control over demolition
- Q3: Depositing Full Plans
- Q4: Does my proposed building work require building regulations approval?
- Q5: How can I ensure that my proposals will comply with building regulations?
- Q6: How do I make an application?
- Q7: How do I obtain house type approval?
- Q8: How does the building notice work?
- Q9: How many copies of drawings do I have to supply?
- Q10: How much do I need to pay?
- Q11: How soon can I expect a response to my Full Plans Application?
- Q12: Is any building work exempt from the requirement of building regulations?
- Q13: LANTAC - House type approval
- Q14: Material change of use
- Q15: Regularisation Certificates
- Q16: What are the pitfalls?
- Q17: What are the technical requirements of building regulations?
- Q18: What decision options are available to the Building Control Surveyor?
- Q19: What do I do before commencing building work?
- Q20: What is it all about?
- Q21: What other functions does Building Control at Spelthorne undertake?
- Q22: What other type approvals exist?
- Q23: What technical information will the Building Control Surveyor require?
- Q24: When can the building notice procedure be used?
Q1: Building NoticeA:
This form of application is a method of complying with the building regulations without the need for the deposit of detailed plans before the building work is commenced. The charges payable under this procedure are the same in total as those of the "Full Plans" procedure but are payable in their entirely upon submission of the Building Notice.
Q2: Control over demolitionA:
Anyone carrying out demolition of a building must give notice of his intention to the local authority and should give copies to the occupier of any adjacent building, and to the gas and electricity authorities. This notice is to enable the local authority to require certain works to be done to adjoining buildings by way of repairing any damage, to safeguard against collapse, to weatherproof and to ensure that redundant drains are properly sealed. It can also require that all demolition material, rubbish, etc is removed and arrangements made with gas, water and electricity authorities to disconnect their services. In some instances a 'method statement', indicating the demolition processes intended and protection etc to ongoing structures, will be required.
Q3: Depositing Full PlansA:
A "Full Plans" application enables your drawing and details to be formally checked and approved before you start work. If found to comply with Building Regulations, a "Notice of Passing of Building Plans" will be issued (in some cases with conditions). Such a Notice will often be required by financial institutions or solicitors when you seek a loan or come to sell your property. If the work on site is undertaken in accordance with the approved drawings, we will ask no further justifications or amendment to the design. You will be able to proceed with confidence.
Q4: Does my proposed building work require building regulations approval?A:
Q5: How can I ensure that my proposals will comply with building regulations?A:
Each part of the building regulations is supported by approved documents.
Q6: How do I make an application?A:
If the building proposed, or to which works are to be undertaken, is a workplace, or involves building over or near a "public sewer" you must submit "Full Plans". In other circumstances you have the choice of submitting a "Building Notice" or depositing "Full Plans". Neither of these procedures, which are outlined below, must be confused with Planning Permission. Building Regulations and Town and Country Planning Acts are totally separate and it does not follow that approval under one will automatically result in approval under the other. Both full plan approvals and building notices remain valid for three years from the date of submission.
Q7: How do I obtain house type approval?A:
The scheme has been designed to escape from bureaucracy and to speed up the plan approval process. As a developer you can arrange to have standard house designs examined for compliance with the building regulations just once and, under the procedures of the scheme, this approval is accepted by all other Local Authorities in England and Wales without any further checking, except for site related matters (e.g.: foundations, drainage and fire spread between buildings). A Type Approval Certificate is issued which can then be submitted with a full plans application.
Q8: How does the building notice work?A:
Before you start work you must submit the "Building Notice" form with the appropriate payment and as much supporting information as you have available to the Building Control Surveyor. It is helpful, and sometimes a requirement, for you to submit a scaled site plan showing the property and the site of the proposed building work. If the work includes new drainage, the site plan should show that it is practical and whether the building work is to be constructed over an existing drain or sewer.
Q9: How many copies of drawings do I have to supply?A:
Generally the forms, plans and details should be deposited in duplicate. However, should the scheme involve a workplace (for which fire precautions and Means of Escape in Case of Fire are required by Building Regulations), then two extra copies of those drawings showing the necessary provision should be submitted. This is to enable consultation with the Fire Brigade's Fire Safety Officers to be undertaken. In the event of site work on such projects deviating from the original approved design, further copies "as built" drawings must then be submitted to us. Don't forget to provide an Ordnance Survey extract or other site plan to a scale of 1:1250 so we can locate your site.
Q10: How much do I need to pay?A:
Unless the works are intended to provide certain facilities for disabled people, a charge is made by the Council. Unless the correct payment is received, the application cannot be validated. Guidance notes for charges are available.
Q11: How soon can I expect a response to my Full Plans Application?A:
Validation of your application will normally occur within two days of the receipt, provided that the correct payment is received, there is the correct number of plans and forms are properly completed. The plans will then be forwarded to your Building Control Surveyor for the checking of technical aspects. A formal decision letter will thereafter be issued which may be in the form of a pass with conditions, a pass with no conditions or, in some instances, a notice of rejection of the plans.
Q12: Is any building work exempt from the requirement of building regulations?A:
Not all work is subject to the requirements of building regulations and certain buildings can be erected without the need to make an application.
Q13: LANTAC - House type approvalA:
The housing market today presents an unprecedented challenge for house builders, including Housing Associations, who have to keep abreast of the constant improvements and changes to building legislation, particularly the Building Regulations. Local Authority Building Control recognises this situation and appreciates that house builders need to complete projects quickly, efficiently and competitively.
Q14: Material change of useA:
This is when you intend to use a building, or part of building, for a different purpose from that for which it is currently being used.
Q15: Regularisation CertificatesA:
Introduced into the Building Regulations in 1994 this facility enables us to certify that unauthorised work, (i.e. extensions or alterations undertaken without reference to a Building Control Surveyor) carried out since 1985 is to an acceptable standard. A request for Regularisation is to be accompanied by the appropriate payment and any supporting technical information as is available to you. We will investigate the matter and this may entail you exposing as much of the work as necessary for us to be convinced of its suitability. Unless we are satisfied that the work was in compliance with the Building Regulations the Regularisation Certificate will not be issued. You will be given the opportunity to undertake remedial work in order to obtain the certificate. The procedure does not remove our powers to take enforcement action should we find it necessary to ensure your safety.
Q16: What are the pitfalls?A:
It is the duty of both the person having the work done and the builder to comply with the Building Regulations. A lot of work may be undertaken between site visits by the Building Control Surveyor and, should this work be found to be unacceptable, it will need to be removed or altered. For this reason it is recommended that the use of a Building Notice should occur only where the architect, builder or supervisor is familiar with Building Regulations and, in particular, any requirements specific to the Borough of Spelthorne (e.g. the need to ensure that all the new roof timber is adequately treated against infestation by House Longhorn Beetle prior to installation).
Q17: What are the technical requirements of building regulations?A:
The technical requirements of the building regulations are categorised under various headings.
Q18: What decision options are available to the Building Control Surveyor?A:
There are three options available for the Surveyor dealing with your Full Plans application.
Q19: What do I do before commencing building work?A:
Two days before any building work starts either the person having the work carried out or the builder should notify the Building Control Surveyor that the work is about to start. It is advisable to make arrangements to discuss the proposed work before starting. This is best done on site and may help to prevent unnecessary or abortive work, (or failure to comply with the Building Regulations). The Council must be notified when various stages are nearing completion so that inspections can be carried out.
Q20: What is it all about?A:
Control relating to buildings can be traced back to the Great Fire of London in 1666, following which Charles II decreed that walls between buildings must be constructed of brick or stone, and buildings with timber classing must be built far enough apart to prevent the spread of fire from one to another.
Q21: What other functions does Building Control at Spelthorne undertake?A:
Dealing with dangerous buildings or structures
Q22: What other type approvals exist?A:
A similar type approval system is operated by the local authorities for non-residential buildings and for building systems. Contact the helpline for further details as to how any systems you have developed may take advantage of this facility.
Q23: What technical information will the Building Control Surveyor require?A:
The Building Control Surveyor may at any stage of work request further information, such as structural calculations and drawings to show that the work does not present a fire hazard or any other risk to fire safety. A materials specification may also be required.
Q24: When can the building notice procedure be used?A:
This procedure may be used as an alternative to full plans except where the work involves building over or near a public sewer or the building is a workplace. Therefore, any building work carried out to create or alter a shop, hotel, factory or office or other workplace can only be carried out after a "Full Plans" submission has been made.