Upon receiving planning permission, the next stage of any development is to gain Building Control approval. As part of our services for any Building Control submission, we can offer to:

  • Develop the design to a further level of detail, recommending where structural calculations, fire stops, or specialist designs will be required
  • Incorporate the necessary specifications, in order to meet Building Regulation Approved Document Standards for Sustainability, Fire Prevention, and Ventilation etc.
  • Produce outline construction details for foundations, flood build ups, roof build ups etc. which will require approval
  • Advise on the best method of procurement for the project
  • Prepare detailed estimates from the further detailed designs
     Is Building Control required for all types of construction work?

    Generally, all works will require building control approval other than domestic internal alterations that does not affect the structural integrity of the structure. The building owner is ultimately responsible for obtaining. If you are the tenant you will need to seek approval off the landlord before undertaking any works that warrants building control approval.

    There are buildings that are exempt from Building Control, as follows:

    • Buildings controlled under other legislation,
    • Buildings not frequented by people,
    • Agricultural buildings,
    • Temporary buildings.
    • Ancillary buildings.

    Certain extensions/alterations to buildings may require Building Control approval, however they may be exempt from complying with Approved Document Part L, as follows:

    • Listed buildings, buildings within conservation areas or included in the schedule of monuments,
    • Buildings used as places of worship,
    • Temporary buildings with a planned time use of two years or less
    • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
    • Stand-alone buildings other than dwellings with a total floor are of less than 50m2

    Elvet Chartered Surveyors can provide advice on whether your proposed development requires building control approval in the first instance. When the project does need building control approval we can submit the application on your behalf to provide peace of mind that your development complies with current regulations.

    Who is responsible for ensuring that Building Regulations are achieved?

    Ultimately the property owner is responsible for ensuring that Building Regulations are adhered to, as enforcement notice will be issued to the owner. If you are a tenant, the landlord may pass this responsibility to you, however agreement will need to be reached between both parties before any work is commenced.

    Traditionally the property owner/client would appoint professionals to prepare the planning application and building control application before the main contractor was appointed to deliver the scheme. Once the main contractor is appointed, they will be responsible for ensuring that they comply with the drawings and specifications approved by Building Control and the local Planners. In addition, they will need to invite the building control inspector out at critical stages of the build to assess compliance with the approved drawings/specification.

    Alternatively, some clients prefer to appoint the main contractor on a Design and Build contract, this is seen to reduce the amount of risk that the client is exposed to, however it does limit the clients control over the design. In this situation the appointed contractor would make the final planning application and building control application.

    There are various options available and Elvet Chartered Surveyors can provide you with independent advice on which route is preferable for your particular scheme.

    What would happen if I fail to comply to Building Regulations?

    The local authority has a duty to ensure that building regulations are adhered to in their area. Initially they will seek to ensure this via all informal means at their disposal wherever possible, however if the project proceeds without obtaining building regulations the local authority has formal enforcement powers that can be used appropriate to the case.

    If the building works contravenes Building Regulations the local authority may prosecute through the Magistrates Court, where an unlimited fine may be imposed. Prosecution is possible at any time within two tiers after the completion of the offending work.

    Alternatively, and in some cases in addition, the local authority may serve a notice on the building owner requiring alteration or removal of work, which contravenes the regulations. If the owner fails to act in accordance with the notice, the local authority may undertake the works itself and recover all costs from the building owner. This enforcement notice must be served 12 months after the works have been completed.

    If you don’t obtain building control approval it may cause an issue if you tried to sell your property.

    How do I get Building Control approval?

    There are two options to obtain building control, all of which will depend on the project size and what level of risk you are prepared to accept.

    Build Notice is a quick way to start the project as no plans are required, however it poses greater risk to the client/builder, as no plans or specifications have been agreed with building control before the works commence. The building control inspector will need to visit the site at various stages of the work to ensure that the work complies with building regulations. This can delay the construction process as the works will need to be paused to allow the inspector time to inspect the works. If the inspector rules that the work does not comply, their guidance will need to be followed resulting in alterations and additional costs to remedy the issue. Another risk is that it’s the clients/builders responsibility to ensure that the inspector is informed and invited to make the critical site visits during the construction stage.

    Full Plan Application requires the applicant to submit all plans, construction details, specifications and other supporting documentation to show that the proposed scheme complies with current Building Regulations. Building control will issue a notice confirming that the plans have been approved before the works commence. The building control inspector will still need to visit the site at regular intervals to ensure that the works are in accordance with the approved plans. As long as the builder follows the plans and specifications this reduces of the risk of any issues occurring during the construction phase.

    I'm considering replacing my windows, do I need Building Control approval?

    If you are using a company registered with one of the relevant Competent Person Schemes, then you would not need to make an application. However, if you were introducing new openings or increasing existing openings than Building Control approval may be required.

    If your builder is not registered with one of the relevant Competent Person Schemes, then you will need formal building control approval if you are replacing the whole window.

    If you are completing general repairs, such as replacing broken glass, repairing sections of the timber frame etc., then building control approval will not be required.

    I'm planning on insulating my external walls, will I need Building Control approval?

    Generally, yes you will need Building Control approval to ensure that the product proposed is suitable for your property, as the external wall structure and the materials can have a significant impact.

    If you live in a solid wall property and you are considering applying external insulated render system you will require planning permission in addition to building control approval.

    I wish to apply external rendering or another cladding system to my external walls. Will I require Building Control approval?

    If you are re-rendering or re-cladding external walls, then building control will only apply if more than 25% of the overall external wall was to be rendered/clad.

    If the above criteria applies, you may need to increase the overall efficiency of the external wall to comply with current building regulations. It must be noted that some properties may be exempt from this requirement i.e. listed buildings, situated in conservation areas, places of worship etc.

    What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Control?

    Planning Permission relates to the aesthetic appearance of the proposed building and the effect it will have of the surrounding environment and neighbouring properties. Planning also deals with buildings that are listed and conservation areas.

    Building Control relates to the construction of the building and matters such as its structural integrity, means of escape, weather resistance, access and facilities for people with disabilities and issues which are listed in the Approved Documents.

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