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Frequently asked questions

Planning permission will determine whether you are allowed to go ahead with a building project.

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

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

Both require separate applications and you would need to check whether each would apply to your building project.

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Yes, a fee or charge is payable to the local authority unless the work is exempt from control.

Our Building Control service is nonprofit making and the fees are set only to cover our costs and none of the burden falls on the council taxpayer. 

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For further information on fees and payment please contact our technical support team

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  • On submission of an application it will be checked to ensure that all the necessary documentation and information has been provided.
  • If your application cannot be registered then you will be informed of why and what other information is required to be able to register the application.
  • An acknowledgment letter will be issued within 5 days of receipt of your Building Regulation application and payment of fees.
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  • Commencement of works
  • Foundations: before concreting any excavations
  • Ground Floor/Oversite: before covering any damp proof course
  • Drains: prior to backfilling or covering any drains
  • Roof timbers, trusses and insulation
  • Structural elements such as floor joists and steel work
  • Completion: final sign off once work is complete.

Whilst these visits represent a typical inspection framework, with some projects it may not be necessary for all of these inspections to be carried out.

In some cases further visits may be necessary in order to assess particular details such as fire safety issues or complex structural elements and the allocated Building Control Surveyor will inform the builder/contractor

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Yes. Applications are required for both Planning and Building Control.

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Yes. A building regulations application is required.

A planning application may also be required so make sure you also check with the planning department.

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Yes. A building regulations application is required.

A planning application may also be required for dormer windows or such like so make sure you also check with the planning department.

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Yes, if the alterations are of a structural nature e.g. the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, or removal of part or the whole of a chimney, or if they effect fire safety e.g. changed layouts, etc.

Generally, if the alteration involves the insertion of a beam or lintel or will affect the stability of the building then the alteration is a structural one.

If you are unsure if the alteration will require approval then seek the advice of an expert or contact our technical support team.

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No, provided the internal floor area is less than 30m2, it is substantially of clear or translucent materials and is separated from the house by an external quality door.

Any glass under 800mm from floor level should be safety glass.


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Yes, unless the installer of the replacement windows is FENSA registered.

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The installations of solid fuel, wood and biomass appliances and systems are subject to the requirements of building regulations and must be notified to the relevant Local Authority Building Control department by law.

However HETAS, the official body recognised by the government, employ registered installers who can self-certify their work, avoiding the need for a Building Notice application.

For more information visit the HETAS website.

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Since 2005 all electrical work in dwellings in England and Wales, whether carried out professionally or as DIY, must meet the requirements of Approved Document Part P of the Building Regulations. 

It is strongly recommended that you employ an electrical installer who is registered with one of the Government approved Competent Persons Scheme. This is the only way in which you can be sure of employing someone who has had their domestic electrical competence verified and is authorised under the Regulations to arrange for you to be issued with the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate.

If you do decide to do your own electrical work then we would need to employ a competent person to test the circuits are safe before issuing a completion certificate. There is an additional charge for this.

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No, provided that the garage/outbuilding meets the following conditions;

  • It is detached and single storey
  • It has less than 30m2 internal floor area
  • It will be sited at least 1m away from any boundary
  • It is to be built of non-combustible materials (i.e. blockwork and tile construction)
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Yes. A Building Regulations application is required.

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If the proposed works involve building within 3 metres of a sewer laid before 1st October 1937 and shown on the Local Water Utilities map of sewers, agreement is required. 

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Not all demolition work requires a demolition notice to be submitted to local authority building control.

Please contact us to check if your project requires a demolition notice to be submitted.

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A Completion Certificate or Completion Notice will be issued when the building works associated with either a Full Plans or Building Notice application has been satisfactory completed

It is the responsibility of the contractor and the owner to book a completion inspection once the works are complete. To speed up the process please have any paperwork or certificates for any electrical works, boiler or wood burner installations to hand 

Once a completion certificate is issued, we would advise keeping the document in a safe place or passing a copy to your solicitors to hold on file. This will be required if you decide to sell your property in the future.

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You could apply for a regularisation application if the works have been carried out since the 1st January 1985.

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Contact the office as we can look into previous applications and records to see if the works have been signed off.

  • If they have been signed off we can issue a duplicate certificate (this is subject to a small administration fee)
  • If we controlled the works but they haven’t been signed off then we may require a final site visit before issuing a completion certificate
  • If an application was never made you will need to submit a retrospective application known as a regularisation. We will then require a site visit to ascertain the works, which may involve uncovering or opening up areas so that we can inspect it such as; digging trial holes next to foundations or opening up sections of ceilings or walls
  • Once satisfied a regularisation completion certificate can be issued 
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We have records going back to 1984, although completion certificates weren’t routinely issued until circa 1996.

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Yes. You can terminate you application with the Approved Inspector by writing to them and then make a new application with the Local Authority Building Control. 


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You can find impartial advice on choosing a tradesman and search a database of local builders online through the Government non-profit organisation Trustmark

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Last updated: 9 February 2017 | Last reviewed: 9 February 2017