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You are required to deposit either a full plans application or a building notice depending on the scale of works to be carried out. If a full plans application is deposited it must contain plans and other information showing all construction details, this should be well in advance of when works are due to commence on site. These plans will be checked by the local authority who will in turn consult appropriate authorities e.g. Fire or sewage. The local authority must then issue a final decision within five weeks, or if agreed a maximum of two months from the date of deposit.

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If the plans are all correct and comply with the necessary building regulations a notice will be issued stating that they have been approved, or if they have not been accepted amendments are required to be made or more details provided on how regulations will be met. The Local Authority could also issue a conditional approval which will either specify modifications which must be made to the plans or specify further plans which must be submitted. This approval method will only be used if requested by or with consent.

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Once approval has been permitted the local authority will then inspect work as they progress through one of the building inspectors they employ, they will also explain about necessary notification periods i.e. Foundations, Damp proof coursing and drainage. Also if requested with your full plans application a completion certificate once works have been completed. One other advantage of using the full plans method is that if a disagreement arises with the local authority a determination can be requested via the deputy prime ministers office.

The building notice procedure does not involve the passing or rejecting of plans therefore avoiding the preparation of full plans enabling some types of building to work to commence quickly, this procedure is best used for small scale building works and there are still specific exclusions from the regulations when building notices cannot be used. Although plans submissions are not required for carrying out work under a building notice it is essential that you are confident that building regulations are being met as a local authority building inspector will inspect works as they progress and anything that deems to be unsuitable will be required to be taken down and started again.

The local authority could also request items such as structural calculations whilst works are in progress, all of which are required to be provided as part of the building notice procedure. A building notice is valid for 3 years from the date of when the notice was given to the local authority and works must commence within this period or it will automatically lapse. Using the building notice procedure the local authority is not required to give you a completion certificate and determination cannot be sort if the local authority says work does not comply with Building Regulations.

Local authority services are chargeable and subject to VAT. Each authority sets its own charges all of which are available if requested under a scheme depending on what type of works are being carried out. An Approved Inspectors Building Control Service:

If you choose to use an approved inspector it is their responsibility to carry out plan checking and inspection of building work. It requires you and the approved inspector jointly to notify the local authority of the intended building work via an initial notice. Once this notice has been accepted by the local authority the responsibility for plan checking and site inspection will be formally placed on the approved inspector.

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