Choosing a Full Plans or Building Notice application
The Building Regulations can be complied with by using either; the Full Plans or Building Notice application route. Our guide to making an application offers comprehensive advice on the two different routes.
Full Plans applications
- A Full Plans application needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details. This needs to be made well in advance of when work is to start on site. It's usually used for larger projects
- This route can be used for any proposed project, but developments close to; or over a public sewer need to apply to Thames Water. Visit the Thames Water website for guidance about building close to a public sewer
- One copy of the plan(s) is required, or three copies if the plans relate to a commercial development. A site location and block plan
- Payment for the Full Plans route is required upon application. A separate charge is then made for inspections; this is payable by invoice, after the first inspection takes place
- Plans are checked for compliance with the regulations - we'll negotiate to resolve any problems before approving your application
- Approval Notice issued? Yes - you will have written confirmation that your proposals comply with building regulations
- Completion certificate issued? Yes - upon satisfactory inspection of the completed work
Building Notice applications
- A Building Notice application doesn't require detailed plans to be submitted. It's generally quicker than the full plans application and is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly. However, it tends to be best suited to small projects.
- A Building Notice can only be used for dwelling-houses. Buildings which are designated under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or built close to, or over a public sewer cannot use this route. Visit the Thames Water website for guidance about building close to a public sewer. Some financial lenders such as banks and building societies do not favour this type of application.
- You will need to provide a site location and block plan.
- Payment for the Building Notice route is required upon application. No further charges are made.
- Approval Notice issued? No - this isn't provided. There may also be limitations in the way a Building Notice application can be used.
- Completion certificate issued? Yes - upon satisfactory inspection of the completed work.
Full Plans and Building Notice applications
Irrespective of which route you take, you must make a submission before you commence your building work. Both routes of application allow you to start work once you have given us two days' notice of the commencement of work, after submitting a valid application. Neither of these two options should be confused with planning permission. Building regulation approval and planning permission are separate processes. Visit the Planning Portal website for more details about planning permission.
- We will acknowledge receipt of your Full Plans / Building Notice application in writing.
- Give us 48 hours notice of commencement of work
- Notify us to carry out inspections at various stages (read our Building Control inspection guide).
Charges are not refundable
Neither Full Plans or Building Notice charges are refundable, if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the work.
Building over or close to public sewers
On 1 October 2011, water and sewerage companies in England and Wales became responsible for private sewers, which were previously the responsibility of property owners. Not all private pipes were included. There are some cases where the property owners remain responsible for the sections of pipe between the property / building and the transferred private sewer or lateral drain. If you intend to build over or within three metres of a sewer owned by Thames Water (a public sewer), you will need their written agreement to do so. You are also unable to use the Building Notice procedure where this situation arises.
It is not always a requirement to enter into an agreement with Thames Water. It is, however, still necessary for the fact that the sewer has been built over to be registered for land charges purposes. Thames Water may specify certain conditions regarding the building work as part of the agreement, and will require the payment of a fee to cover maintenance costs etc. You can make an make an application for building over a public sewer on the Thames Water website.
We will inform Thames Water when we receive an application that shows a proposal to build over or near a public sewer which is shown on the existing map of sewers. As the property owner, you are responsible for contacting Thames Water to seek their agreement to your proposals. Thames Water will contact you to seek details and the payment of a fee for the registration process. Contact Thames Water for information on the transfer of public sewers.
Party Wall Act 1996
This legislation protects the interests of property owners involved or affected by building work. Visit the Gov.uk website for more information about the Party Wall Act.
Resolving boundary disputes
Minor disagreements can quickly escalate to involve solicitors and court action. Read the Boundary Wall Disputes Guide on the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.Was this page useful?