Your Building Control Team

Choosing and Making Your 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.

Please note that generally BCS can only communicate with the applicant or the agent. If you are the owner and you are not registered as the applicant or agent on the documents, you will not be entitled to information on the application nor the completion certificate.

What application should I choose?

Full Plans application

If you wish to have your plans checked and approved before the work starts, to avoid any costly errors and corrective work on site by not being fully up to speed with the ever-changing regulations, we recommend you apply using a Full Plans application.

A building regulations 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.

We will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities.

If your plans comply with the building regulations, you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If we are 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.

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 of deposit of the plans.

Information required when submitting a Full Plans application:

You can confidently build to approved details in the knowledge that the work should be approved by our inspecting surveyors unless there are previously unknown factors that come to light during the project.

A Full Plans application avoids this risk giving you reassurance that you can safely build in accordance with a checked and approved design.

This is the most detailed option. You can choose this method for any domestic building work as well as commercial, office and industrial developments.

Building Regulation Submission Form (pdf version)

Building Regulation Submission Form (word version)

Building Notice application

This form of application is more suited to small basic schemes where the applicant and builder are fully conversant with the applicable Building Regulations requirements. We only need you to submit the application form and a site location plan with this type of application. Whilst a convenient and fast method of application it has the disadvantage that we do not formally check plans and specifications for compliance in advance of the work being carried out. Consequently, there is a risk that we will only discover non-compliant work when we carry out our site inspections and this can necessitate expensive remedial works.

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.

In some cases, our surveyors will need to ask for plans, specifications, and structural calculations to provide a record of the construction and demonstrate compliance while the work is being carried out.

*A Building Notice is only acceptable for works on domestic properties. 

All work relating to commercial premises must be submitted as a Full Plans application* 

Building Regulation Submission Form (pdf version)

Building Regulation Submission Form (word version)

Online Applications

Please clearly mention any relevant details in your application so we can get back to you with an answer as quickly as possible. You have 2 options to apply online, you can apply via the National Planning Portal or you can apply via Submit a Plan.

Planning Portal website

Submit a Plan website

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.

Fee Quote

If you require a quote for your project, please fill our quote request form which can be found on our website 

Charges are not refundable

Neither Full Plans or Building Notice charges are refundable, if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the work.

What to do if work is already complete

If you've carried out work without building regulation permission, you may still be able to make an application for a Regularisation Certificate.

Building over or close to public sewers

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. Our guide to the Party Wall Act helps give an introduction. Visit the website for more information about the Party Wall Act.

Resolving boundary disputes

Building Regulations cannot be used to resolve issues around:

These issues are covered by Civil Law.

For free advice consult Citizens Advice or seek legal advice.

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.

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