New ‘building work’ must comply with Building Regulations and includes:
installation of a service, e.g. washing or sanitary facilities material alterations to the structure conversions to flats some major repairs.
2.14.1 Obtaining Building Regulations Approval
There are two optional procedures available to carry out works with Building Regulations approval for which a fee is payable.
1. Full Plans Application
This is the normal procedure for most works, whereby the local authority’s Building Control Service approves plans and details of the proposed works as being compliant before works commence. The application can be approved with or without conditions, or refused or have amendments requested.
A Commencement Notice is given to the Building Control Inspector when works start. At pre-determined critical stages the contractor notifies the inspector that certain works are being carried out so that those works can be inspected to check compliance before being covered over.
A Completion Certificate is issued by the inspector at the end of work stating that the works have been carried out in compliance with Building Regulations.
2. Building Notice Procedure
This procedure is suitable for small-scale works that need to progress quickly and where pre-approval of plans is not essential.
The contractor gives a Building Notice to the Building Control Service that works are about to start and which will then be inspected as they progress. The contractor will be advised if any works are not likely to be Building Regulations compliant so corrective action can be taken.
An alternative to using a local authority building control service is to use a private sector approved inspector’s building control service. The procedures are similar with the exception of some additional administration to keep the local authority, as the statutory enforcement authority, informed of progress.
‘Unapproved’ building works are liable to enforcement action if discovered within 12 months of completion.