Pre-site approval

Full Plans

You can apply for building regulations approval from your local authority building control service by submitting a full plans application.

An 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.

Your local authority will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities (e.g. fire and sewerage). They must complete the procedure by issuing you with a decision within five weeks or, if you agree, a maximum of two months from the date of deposit.

If your plans comply with the building regulations you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If your local authority is 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.

Your local authority may only apply conditions if you have either requested them to do so or have consented to them doing so. A request or consent must be made in writing. 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 the plans were deposited, after which the local authority may send you a notice to declare the approval of no effect if the building work has not commenced.

Your local authority will carry out inspections of the building work once it is in progress. They will explain about the notification procedures which the regulations require you to follow at various stages of the work - e.g. in connection with foundations, damp proof courses and drains. In addition, if you request one when you first make your application, the local authority will issue you with a completion certificate provided they are content that the completed work complies with the building regulations.

A further point to bear in mind is that, if a disagreement arises with your local authority, the 'full plans' procedure enables you to ask for a 'determination' from (in England) the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government or (in Wales) the Welsh Assembly Government about whether your plans do or do not comply with the building regulations.