Your LABC Building Control Team

Choosing and Making Your Application

The Building Regulations can be complied with by making either a Building Regulation Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans or an Application for Building Notice. Our guide to making an application offers advice on both routes.

Please note that BCS can only communicate with the applicant/client or the principal designer. If you are the owner and you are not registered as the applicant or principal designer on the documents. You will not be entitled to information on the application nor the completion certificate.

Fee Quote

If you require a quote for your project, please use our quote request form.

Online Applications

You have two options to apply online, you can use either the Planning Portal or Submit a Plan.

Planning Portal website

Submit a Plan website

What application should I choose?

Building Regulation Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans

If you wish to have your plans checked and approved before the work starts. We recommend you use this route. This will help avoid corrective work on site by not being up to speed with regulations.

The application must contain plans and other information showing all construction details.  This should be submitted well in advance of work starting on site.

We will check your plans and consult with 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 provide more details. We may grant an application with requirements. We may specify modifications that must be made in the full plans or that further plans are required. Requirements replace 'conditions’ that, currently, can be imposed when passing or rejecting plans under section 16 of Building Act 1984.

If your plans are rejected, the reasons will be stated in the notice. Building control approval on new building work lapses automatically after three years in respect of any work which has not commenced.

The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 introduce a new definition of ‘commencement’ of building work for existing and new buildings. This definition of commencement of work must be satisfied within three years of the application for building control approval being submitted to the building control authority. 

Information required when submitting an Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans:

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

An Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans gives you reassurance that you can build in accordance with an 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.

Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans (word version)

Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans (pdf version)

Notes and Checklist (word version)

Application for Building Notice

This procedure is useful for small basic schemes. We only need you to submit the application form and a site location plan with this type of application. It has the disadvantage that we do not check plans and specifications for compliance before works start on site. There is a risk that we will only discover non-compliant work when we carry out our site inspections, This may require further work.

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, we will ask for information to provide a record of the construction and show compliance while the work is being carried out.

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

All work relating to commercial premises must be submitted as an Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans* 

Application for Building Notice (word version)

Application for Building Notice (pdf version)

Notes and Checklist (word version)

Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans and Application for Building Notice

Irrespective of which route you take, you must make a submission before you commence your building work. Both routes allow you to start work once you have given us two days' notice before work starts, after submitting a valid application. Neither of these two routes 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.

Charges are not refundable

Neither Application for Building Control Approval with Full Plans or Application for 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 have 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 This 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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