What we do
The Building Regulations are laid down by government and designed to ensure that buildings are designed and built to be safe for those who use them. It is our role to implement the legislation on behalf of our partner councils - Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead and Tandridge.
We do this by; working with you and your architects and contractors, by checking plans and specifications for compliance and inspecting works at specific stages on site. (However, our role is not to act as a clerk of works or supervising architect).
Our building control service is separate from each council’s planning service and you should ensure you have all the necessary approvals before starting work on site.
Building regulations application options
There are two types of application to gain Building Control compliance:
A full set of plans is submitted to check for compliance. These plans contain additional detail compared to those you may have submitted for planning approval. We check the plans include the technical information to help your contractor on site. A Full Plans application is usually submitted on behalf of a homeowner by an agent/architect. We will check their plans for building regulations compliance and liaise with them to ensure any amendments required are adopted.
We aim to check the plans within 10 working days and if amendments are required we will advise your agent, who should then amend their design or provide additional detail. Once we are satisfied that the plans comply, we will issue our decision notice which will be either an Approval or Conditional Approval.
On the rare occasions the plans do not comply, we will issue a Rejection notice. However, if a Rejection notice is issued, plans can be resubmitted under the same application, at no further cost, provided the overall design does not altered. This process can take up to 8 weeks but will be completed as soon as all plans are deemed compliant.
When we issue our decision notices, we provide an inspection schedule and once work starts, you or your builder should contact us to arrange an inspection. Inspections take place throughout the project to ensure that your builder is following the design laid down on the plans.
This type of application does not include a plan check (even if you submit plans with your notice), instead, all checks for building regulations compliance will take place on site. You should choose this route if you are happy that you or your builder are competent to work without plans. As plans are not required it is normally used when the project is about to start or because the work is not considered complex. Although we will not require detailed plans, some types of work, such as the removal of internal walls, will require a structural engineer’s design and this should be submitted for us to check for compliance. Building Notices can be submitted 48 hours before work starts, however you are strongly advised to deposit your application earlier so that we can check the structural engineer’s design if necessary. We will provide you with a Building Notice Acknowledgement and this will include an inspection schedule.
Which route you choose will depend on discussions between you and your agent/contractor. If you are engaging someone to provide you with detailed plans (these are usually required for planning approval) we would recommend you use the Full Plans route and have plans drawn for a building regulations application too. But, for small or basic projects a Building Notice can be appropriate. There are some exceptions when a Building Notice cannot be used, these are if:
- the work involves building within three metres of a public sewer
- if the project is a new dwelling in a private road
- if the work relates to a commercial building.