How To Get Building Control Approval

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Extensions, New Builds, Your Home

There are two ways to get Building Control Approval – which is best for you?

If you are in the planning phase of building or renovating a home, the need for Building Control Approval has probably entered your radar. This approval is essential for any build or renovation. The Building Regulations look at the construction standards to ensure all structures comply with the minimum standards of health and safety and conservation.

While the regulations remain the same throughout England and Wales – each application must go through the relevant local authority. There are different ways to get approval. This is dependant on where your property lies, what it is going to be used for, and the project’s size.

Three Chimney House, US, by T W Ryan Architecture. Image Courtesy of Dezeen.

1) Building Control Approval with Full Plans Submission

The full plans submission is when detailed drawings of the planned building project are given to Building Control for approval. This approval will be given on the condition that the proposal meets building regulation standards and all procedures have been followed correctly. 

Complete and give two copies of the completed Full Plans application form to get approval through full plans submission. These forms will be available from your local authority. The following documents need to be submitted alongside the application forms:

  • Two sets of scaled plans, sections, and elevations of the proposal (1:50) (1:100).
  • A site location plan (1:1250) and block plan (1:500).
  • Vertical section through building showing constructional details.
  • A detailed specification for the proposed work.
  • The relevant fee payment and estimated cost of work (where required).
  • The provision made for the drainage of the building or extension.

If your property falls near or over a public sewerage system, you will need to apply to Thames Water with a Full Plans submission to get Building Control Approval 

Once you have submitted the correct documentation to your local Building Control, you will receive a letter regarding any queries on your plans, or if they want any modifications made, or are simply requesting more information. If all your documentation and plans are compliant, you will receive an approval letter. This will be valid for three years after the date of the payment deposit. Further to this, you will receive a completion certificate within 8 weeks of building completion (as long as it complies).

The benefits of a full plan submission are numerous. The completed plans enable you to see exactly what your build or renovation will look like on your property; the builder has more precise guidelines and can offer an accurate quotation, and you will receive an Approval Notice from your local authority. Your financial institution will most likely request this Approval Notice before approving any requested loans for the build. 

Image Courtesy of Home Designing (Visualiser: Michael K)

2) Building control approval with Building Notice

If you are looking to do minor renovations to your home, like interior alterations, you can get Building Control Approval using a building notice. These kinds of works can be but are not limited to:

  • The removal of one or two walls
  • Installing boilers or other heating methods
  • Bathroom installations
  • New window installations
  • Creation of garages or carports

For building notice submission, you don’t need plans upfront. However, they may be requested by the local authority building control at a later stage. If you are undergoing a new build or home extension, a block plan showing the build’s size and position will need to be submitted. This will verify that you are not building over or near to a public sewer. Building Notices are not acceptable for commercial buildings or buildings to which the public have access, as the Fire Authority consultation is necessary.

The advantages of a building notice submission are that it is quicker, gives an easier route for internal renovations, and you can start your build without waiting for approval. The disadvantages are that, without the pre-build approval, you risk completing the job without the correct regulations being adhered to. This means that once the build is complete, your local authority will do an inspection, and if the regulations are not met, you will have to fix the problems at an extra cost. The lack of an Approval Notice also means that you cannot apply for building finance. 

What’s Next?

While you have the choice of applying for either of these options (build-type dependent), the easiest way to make sure your building or renovation meets all regulations, will pass inspection and save you money, in the long run, is to have your architect prepare plans according to the correct procedures. An architectural service such as Arkiplan will not only provide you with regulation-proof building plans but will act as your agent and apply for your Building Control Approval on your behalf.  Get started with us today!