Building control frequently asked questions

Q: Are building regulations the same as planning permission?

A: No, the two are separate. You can complete a householder enquiry form to establish whether you require planning permission and/or Building Regulations.

Q: What is a completion certificate?

A: This is an official document issued when a satisfactory final inspection has been made by a Building Control Officer.

Keep the certificate in a safe place as you will need it when you sell your property to prove work was carried out to the satisfaction of the Building Control Department of the council.

What if work has been carried out on my property without a Building Regulations application being submitted?
Work carried out without an application submitted is classed as illegal until a Regularisation application is made. This can be issued on all works, as far back as 1985, and will provide the applicant with a formal certificate that can be produced if the property is sold. Contact the Building Control team for more information.

Q: Do I need to make an application to install replacement windows?

A: Yes, as from the April 1 2002 replacement windows are now classed as building works. There are two ways you can comply with this:

  1. submit an application to us, or
  2. use an installer who is registered with FENSA

Q: What if my loft conversion is for storage purposes only?

A: It always difficult establishing how people will use the space in their home. For your guidance we require an application to be submitted if any of the following are included in the scope of the work:

  • the installation of a fixed stair (rather than a retractable ladder)
  • lining out the internal surfaces (that is, plasterboard / insulation)
  • the space is for use as a study, office or playroom.

Q: Are charges reduced for works for occupants with a disability?

A: Yes, providing the work is for the benefit of a registered disabled person, there is generally no fee charged.

Q: Can I see the original plans of my property?

A: In most circumstances it will be possible to view the plans. However, copyright laws generally prevent copies being made without the author's permission.

Q: Can I see my neighbour's application details?

A: No, the application is not classed as a public record.

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