The right type of building regulations application for your work

Making the right choice - Full Plans or Building Notice?

If your building work requires Building Regulation approval there are two procedures to choose from:

  1. Deposit of Full Plans
  2. The Building Notice.

About deposit of Full Plans

For a Full Plans application, plans need to be drawn up showing full constructional details of the proposed work.  Unless you have a thorough working knowledge of the regulations, and building construction in general, it would be advisable to seek professional advice in this regard.

Full Plans applications should consist of the following:

  • the relevant application forms duly completed with the appropriate fee;
  • detailed scale drawings (commonly 1:50) including floor plans, typical sections and elevations of the proposed work (positions of boundaries and drainage layouts should also be shown);
  • full written specifications should be provided either on the drawings or suitably cross-referenced to the plans.

A Full Plans application will be thoroughly checked by a Building Control Officer and if the work shown on the plans complies with the regulations you will be issued with an approval notice.  If your proposals do not satisfy the regulations you will be invited to amend the plans as necessary to facilitate approval.

A five week statutory time limit applies to the processing of Full Plans applications (extendable to two months with your agreement) and if any required amendments are not made within this period a Rejection Notice may have to be issued. Re-submission of plans following rejection is a simple procedure but we do not regard rejection of plans as a particularly productive exercise and our objective is to approve all Full Plans submissions as quickly as possible. You may begin work at any time after you have submitted a Full Plans application provided you give at least 48 hours notice. However if work is carried out that does not comply with the Building Regulations it may have to be re-done or materials replaced.

An approval notice remains valid for three years from the date of deposit of plans.

Advantages of Full Plans Applications

  • You have the assurance that providing the work is carried out in accordance with the approved plans the regulations will be satisfied.
  • An approval notice can be presented to financial institutions, solicitors, surveyors etc. when seeking loans or moving home.

Disadvantages of Full Plans Applications

  • Cost of having detailed plans prepared.
  • Need to programme work to allow sufficient time for preparation and processing of plans.

About the Building Notice

If you choose this option no detailed plans are generally required as greater emphasis is placed upon site supervision. However plans and details can be requested during the course of the work to assist us with checking, but this will only be done if absolutely necessary. The Building Notice procedure lends itself to works of a relatively straight forward nature to be carried out by persons who are fully conversant with the requirements of the regulations.

Without plans there is no detailed check of the work before it is carried out and therefore no official decision notice is issued.

The Building Notice procedure may not be used when the proposed work relates to a building of a designated use for the purposes of the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (currently offices, shops, railway premises, factories, hotels and boarding houses) as statutory consultation with the Fire Authority is required in these cases.

Also due to the amount of details that is always required to be able to approve a conversion of a loft area into a habitable room (e.g. bedroom) Bury Building Control does not accept Building Notices for this particular work.

Advantages of the Building Notice

  • Savings in time and costs by not having to prepare and submit detailed plans.

Disadvantages of the Building Notice

  • No approved plan to work to. Whilst the Building Control Surveyor will endeavour to anticipate potential problems, delays and costly remedial works may be necessary if the work carried out does not comply with the regulations.
  • Building estimates may be inaccurate without the full design information available.