Architectural Services Lincolnshire

Building Regulations by Brayford Designs

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Architectural Services Lincolnshire
Architectural Services Lincolnshire
Lincoln Architects

Building regulations

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. The Building Regulations 2010 cover the construction and extension of buildings and these regulations are supported by Approved Documents. Approved Documents set out detailed practical guidance on compliance with the regulations.

Building regulations approval is different from planning permission and you might need both for your project.

 

You can apply to any local authority building control department or Approved Inspector for building regulations approval.

How to get approval

The building regulations apply to most building work, therefore it is important to know when approval is needed. The Building Regulations 2010 cover the construction and extension of buildings.

You might also need building regulations approval for many alteration projects, including if you plan to:

  • replace fuse boxes and connected electrics
  • install a bathroom that will involve plumbing
  • change electrics near a bath or shower
  • put in a fixed air-conditioning system
  • replace windows and doors
  • replace roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs
  • install or replace a heating system
  • add extra radiators to a heating system

The responsibility for checking the building regulations have been met falls to building control bodies either from the local authority or the private sector as an approved inspector. The person carrying out the work has the choice of where to get approval for the building work.

How to get approval depends on whether a local authority building control (LABC) service or an approved inspector building control service is being used

If you choose to use a local authority building control service, there are three types of application for approval you can make. There is a charge payable for these applications, which may vary between local authorities, but is regulated by the Building (local authority charges) Regulations 2010.  The 3 options are Full plans submission, Building notice and a regularisation

Full plans Submission

You can apply for building regulations approval from your local authority building control service by submitting a full plans application. An application deposited under this procedure needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details, preferably well in advance of when work is to start on site. Brayford Designs will produce more details plans in order to satisfy the building control office. These plans differ from those supplied for Planning permission. Once the plans are approved the responsibility for compliance to the regulations sits with the builder and they must call the inspector in for a visit at certain stages

Your local authority will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities (e.g. fire and sewerage). They must complete the procedure by issuing you with a decision within five weeks or, if you agree, a maximum of two months from the date of deposit. If your plans comply with the building regulations you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If your local authority is not satisfied you may be asked to make amendments or provide more details. Alternatively, a conditional approval may be issued. This will either specify modifications which must be made to the plans; or will specify further plans which must be deposited with your authority.

Your local authority may only apply conditions if you have either requested them to do so or have consented to them doing so. A request or consent must be made in writing. If your plans are rejected the reasons will be stated in the notice. A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date the plans were deposited, after which the local authority may send you a notice to declare the approval of no effect if the building work has not commenced.

Your local authority will carry out inspections of the building work once it is in progress. They will explain about the notification procedures which the regulations require you to follow at various stages of the work – e.g. in connection with foundations, damp proof courses and drains. In addition, if you request one when you first make your application, the local authority will issue you with a completion certificate provided they are content that the completed work complies with the building regulations.

A further point to bear in mind is that, if a disagreement arises with your local authority, the ‘full plans’ procedure enables you to ask for a ‘determination’ from (in England) the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government or (in Wales) the Welsh Assembly Government about whether your plans do or do not comply with the building regulations.

Building control Notice

You can apply for building regulations approval from your local authority building control service by giving a building notice.

Plans are not required with this process so it’s quicker and less detailed than the full plans application. It is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small work. Brayford Designs do not have to carry out any additional work for a building notice and the fee is paid direct to the building control departments. The Builder will take over responsibility for contacting and managing the building regulations from this point forward.

There are also specific exclusions in the regulations as to when building notices cannot be used. These are:

  • For building work in relation to a building to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies, or will apply after the completion of the building work.
  • For work which will be built close to or over the top of rain water and foul drains shown on the ‘map of sewers’
  • Where a new building will front onto a private street.

If you decide to use this procedure you need to be confident that the work will comply with the building regulations or you will risk having to correct any work you carry out if your local authority requests this. In this respect you do not have the protection provided by the approval of ‘full plans’.

Once you have given your ‘building notice’ and informed your local authority that you are about to start work, the work will be inspected as it progresses. You will be advised by the authority if the work does not comply with the building regulations. If before the start of work, or while work is in progress, your local authority requires further information such as structural design calculations or plans, you must supply the details requested.

A ‘building notice’ is valid for three years from the date the notice was given to the local authority, after which it will automatically lapse if the building work has not commenced.

On satisfactory completion of works a local authority will automatically issue a completion certificate under either the full plans or building notice procedure. However, it is only possible to ask for a determination when using the full plans procedure.

If you are carrying out building work you are required, under the building regulations, to give the local authority notice of when the work has reached a particular stage. The local

Regularisation

Where works are carried out without building regulations approval being sought the owner may be prosecuted. However to facilitate people who wish to have work approved, there is a process called  regularisation. A regularisation application is a retrospective application relating to previously unauthorised works i.e. works carried out without building regulations consent, started on or after the 11 November 1985.

The purpose of the process is to regularise the unauthorised works and obtain a certificate of regularisation. Depending on the circumstances, exposure, removal and/or rectification of works may be necessary to establish compliance with the building regulations.

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Architectural Lincoln Brayford Designs

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LN6 8RX

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