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Building
Planning and building control
Building Regulations application and charges

There are three different ways to apply for Building Regulations:

  • Full Plans application;
  • Building Notice application; and
  • Regularisation application (which regularises work which has already been carried out).

What is the difference between a Full Plans application and a Building Notice?

A Building Regulation Full Plans Application is where plans, detailed specifications, and if appropriate, structural calculations are given to the council. These are checked to make sure that they meet the regulation requirements and, if they do, formal approval is given. If the full plans cannot be approved we will write to you or your agent explaining why. If necessary you will be asked to give more information or to alter the plans. We will let you know of our decision within five weeks (or two months if you request an extension of time to allow more information to be covered). When works on site start you can be sure that, provided you keep to the approved plans, the works will comply with the Building Regulations. Naturally you can submit revised plans if you need to depart from your original proposals.

Building Regulation Full Plans submission form 2013 (PDF 176Kb)

A Building Notice is a written notice that you intend to carry out building work and does not, necessarily, mean that you have to submit detailed drawings. More information may sometimes be requested by the Building Control Officer to ensure that your work is in line with the regulations. A Building Notice is more appropriate for minor residential alterations and/or extensions. No formal approval of plans is given and the work is assessed mainly through site inspection. As no prior approval is given you must be confident that the work undertaken on site will comply or you risk having to correct it at the request of the council. You may commence work 48 hours after giving the Building Notice, although you must tell the Building Control Officer when the work is being done to enable an inspection to be carried out (please see the section - When does the council inspect works on site?).

Please note a Building Notice cannot be used where the building is to be put to a designated use such as offices, shops, hotels or boarding houses and factories. Furthermore, the option to submit a Building Notice is not available for buildings, extensions or underpinning that will be within three metres of a public sewer.

Building Notice form 2013 (PDF 176Kb)

How long are Building Regulation Full Plans, Approvals, or Building Notices, valid?

Both Building Regulation Approvals and Building Notices are valid for three years from the date of application.

What information do I need to supply?

It depends upon the type of application you wish to submit and the complexity of the works to be carried out.

For a Building Notice you must submit:

  • one copy of the form;
  • a site location/block plan; and
  • payment of the appropriate charge.

For a Full Plans application you must submit:

  • two copies of the application form;
  • a site location plan;
  • two plans and detailed specifications, and when appropriate structural calculations or other engineering details. An additional copy of the plans is required for work which is non domestic so that the local fire authority may be consulted on the proposal; and
  • payment of the appropriate charge.

Is there any charge payable?

Yes, except for works specifically to improve access or provide some facilities or persons with disabilities. The charges are made to cover the cost of checking the plans, site inspections and associated administrative costs. Please refer to the section on charges. Unless the correct payment is made an application cannot be accepted.

Current building control charges (PDF 37Kb)

Is it possible to regularise unauthorised works?

Yes. An owner of a property may apply to 'regularise' works that were carried out without consent provided this was undertaken after 11 November 1985. It will fall upon the owner to provide such evidence that is necessary to prove that the work complied with Building Regulations in force at the time.

Application for Regularisation Certificate 2013 (PDF 108Kb)

Related information
Contact information
Building Control Team customer.services@westsuffolk.gov.uk
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