Building regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. The regulations are developed by the UK government and approved by Parliament.
Building regulations approval is different from planning permission. You might need both.
You may have to correct the work or pay a fine if building regulations are not followed.
When you need approval
You must check if you need approval before you construct or change buildings in certain ways.
More information on when you need approval
When you don't need approval
You don't need to get approval yourself if you use a competent person scheme .
More information on when you don't need approval
Types of application
You must decide on the type of application for your planned build, extension or alteration work.
Choose a type of application. There are 4 types of application:
- The most thorough option, suitable for any type of application.
- You must submit full drawings and site location plans, which will be checked for compliance with the regulations, and other associated legislation.
- You can expect a decision within 5 weeks, or 2 months with your consent.
- You'll get a completion certificate within 8 weeks of completion of the building work as long as it complies.
- This application type is most appropriate for smaller projects.
- It can't be used where the Fire Precautions Act applies or if you are building over or close to a public sewer.
- Detailed plans are not normally required but may be asked for to clarify certain aspects of your proposals.
- You can start work 2 days after your notice has been submitted.
- You don't get formal approval like you do with full plans.
You can apply for regularisation - retrospective approval for work already carried out without consent - from a local authority BCB only.
Only work carried out after 11 November 1985 can be approved in this way.
The purpose of Building Regulation 18 (Unauthorised Building Work) is to enable homeowners and others to submit applications for Building Regulation approval after unauthorised work or a material change of use of a building has been carried out.
Typical circumstances may be where a builder or an owner (previous or present) did not seek the relevant building regulation approval prior to works commencing. It is not intended that this power should replace or detract from the enforcement powers already available to Building Control, e.g., when an offence is perhaps more consciously created.
An application for a Regularisation Certificate can only be made where Building Control can be satisfied that:
- Work commenced on or after 11th November 1985 and;
- The work required an application to be made in respect of Building Regulations; and,
- The person who carried out the unauthorised work did not deposit plans or give such notice.
- The applicant should complete the application form and include the relevant charge,
together with the following:
- Duplicate plans of the unauthorised work; and,
- Plans showing any additional work required to be carried out to ensure that the unauthorised work complies with the Building Regulations which were in force at that time.
A regularisation charge is payable at the time the application is deposited with Building Control. Details of the charges are contained in the Building Control Charges Guidance Notes (BC02).
The charge can be calculated by multiplying the Building Notice charge [Building Control Charges Guidance Notes (BC02)] by 140%, VAT is not payable on this charge.
For advice on calculations of the Regularisation Fee, please Contact Building Control
Exposing the work
An application for a Regularisation Certificate will, in most cases, relate to completed work. However - in order to assess whether compliance with the regulation has been achieved Building Control is empowered to require the applicant to uncover work where necessary and the applicant must be willing to comply with all such reasonable requests. Use of the power, therefore, assumes a reasonable level of co-operation between the applicants and Building Control.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to carry out any reasonable actions in connection with the work, where requested by Building Control. If an applicant is unwilling to comply with any reasonable request, they run the risk that Building Control will be unable to judge whether the work satisfies the applicable regulations.
Examples of requests that may be made by Building Control to determine compliance:
- Exposure of foundations and/or other elements of structure e.g. steel beams, floor joists, etc. / exposure or testing of drains
- Calculations or other details to prove that the structural work is satisfactory
- Other details or specifications as considered where appropriate e.g., photographic evidence of the works taken at the time of construction.
- Building Control may, conclude that the work satisfies the requirements of the Building Regulations, in such a case we may issue a Regularisation Certificate. Or...
- Building Control may notify the applicant that specified work will need to be carried out so that the work complies with the Building Regulations. When this work has been carried out, a Regularisation Certificate may then be issued. Or ...
- The third possibility is that Building Control may find that they cannot determine (or cannot determine without unreasonable cost or disruption to the applicant) what additional work would be required in order to comply with the Building Regulations. In such circumstances the Regularisation Charge is not refundable as Building Control will have incurred costs in considering the application.
A Regularisation Certificate shall be evidence (but not conclusive evidence) that the relevant requirements specified in the certificate have been compiled with and does not in any way imply that any permissions required under the Town and Country Planning Act have been granted. The regularisation application will be recorded against the property and its status i.e., whether a regularisation certificate has been issued, will be revealed during the local search process when the property is sold.
Updated April 2021
You will need to complete a building notice application.
Fees and costs
Local authority BCBs base their fees on the costs of their work, like site inspections.
What you'll pay depends on the:
- type of work involved
- number of dwellings in the building
- total floor area, e.g. in the case of extensions
You might not have to pay a fee for works carried out solely for a person with a disability.
How to apply
Download our application form and return the completed form and any associated documents to Email email@example.com
You can submit all 3 types of applications, as well as replacement doors and windows applications.Download application form
After you've applied
We will contact you for payment once we have checked your application.
Other ways to apply
You can also apply online through the Planning Portal or Submit a Plan.