Building regulation approval

If you are a householder or business owner and want to improve your property, build an extension, convert your loft or garage, fit-out shops or offices, build a house or even a factory, you will need building regulation approval.

Application forms and guidance are available on our make an application page. Please contact us to discuss the schedule of fees.

Your building regulation application will be processed quickly and we will give you useful and practical feedback on your plans. During the construction phase, we will provide regular site inspections to ensure your project meets the minimum standards and help to resolve any unexpected issues that may arise without unnecessary complications.

We provide a trusted, independent, publicly accountable, not-for-profit service that is of excellent value with the highest professional integrity.

What are the building regulations?

If you are contemplating undertaking any development you must consider whether the project will require planning permission and/or a building regulations application, these are two separate applications and must be applied for individually.

Building regulations are national standards for England and Wales which apply to most types of buildings, whether in the home or commercial development and they ensure that the built environment in which we all live in is a safe place. The regulations also ensure that adequate access and facilities are provided for people with disabilities and include requirements for the conservation of fuel and power.

Homeowners guide to making a building regulation application

There are three types of applications:

  • full plans
  • building notice
  • regularisation certificate

Each type of application has different requirements and our officers are available to advise you.

Full plans

We fully check your plans for compliance with the building regulations, can offer advice and issue a formal decision notice. You will also have the benefit of having a set of approved plans for your builder to work to.

Building notice

A quicker process for smaller building works but without the benefit of us checking your plans as none are generally required. You cannot submit a building notice for any building subject to fire safety legislation for example commercial, industrial, flats or retail premises.

Regularisation certificate

Where unauthorised work has been completed the building owner can apply for a regularisation certificate. We may ask for any concealed work to be exposed for our inspection and require further work to be carried out to comply with the regulations before we can issue a certificate.

See further guidance on application types from the Planning Portal.

Does all work need approval?

There are a number of building types and extensions that are termed exempt, which do not need formal approval or an application to be submitted within the building regulations.

Exemptions from building regulations
How to get your conservatory right guidance from the LABC

Forgot to make an application?

The lack of a completion certificate can affect your ability to use or sell a property. It may also affect your insurance and may put you at risk of legal action. However, if you have carried out work without a building regulations application you can apply to your local authority for a regularisation certificate. See make an application.

Regularisation applications (applied to work carried out after 11 November 1985) can be a lengthy process, especially if extensive work is required to bring a building back up to standard. A regularisation application must be made to the local authority and you may need to provide details and plans showing the work that was carried out, along with payment of the relevant charge.

Once this information has been provided you may be required to open up and uncover the work so that it can be inspected and checked by the building control surveyor. Provided that the work is satisfactory and complies with the regulations in force at the time the work was undertaken a regularisation certificate will be issued.

Initial notices

We are obliged under the provisions of Section 47 of the Building Act 1984, to register and, where appropriate, accept notifications (initial notices) of building work that is to be overseen other than by a local authority. Initial notices are submitted by organisations or persons approved to carry out the building control function by bodies appointed by the Secretary of State for that purpose.

We will process initial notice submissions within the statutory period of five working days. A register of initial notices submitted to the council is available on request.

Approved inspectors should note that it is not the policy of the council to accept any initial notice for building work which has commenced on-site before the date of submission of the notice.

Approved inspectors should note that we do not acknowledge or accept initial notices in writing, once the period of five days has passed as per the regulations the notice is deemed accepted, therefore do not commence work prior to the five days period having passed.

Competent persons

An installer registered with a competent person scheme is qualified to carry out specific types of work in accordance with the building regulations and will deal with building control issues for you. You will usually have access to insurance backed warranties and a robust complaints procedure to use in the unlikely event work is found to be non-compliant.

See competent persons for more information.

Street/property naming and numbering

See street naming and numbering for guidance and an application form.

Further information

The Planning Portal will give you guidance for many common projects

Building Regulations and approved documents Parts A - P

Building work, replacements and repairs to your home

Building work must be notified to a local authority or carried out by an installer registered with the right competent person scheme.