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Building Regulations

BUILDING REGULATIONS APPLICATIONS

A Building Regulations application can be made either when lodging the planning application or a couple of weeks later. Building Regulations are designed to check that the proposed building complies with all current health and safety legislation and are not to do with appearance. They also incorporate measures to conserve fuel and power and ensure the provision of facilities for disabled people. The Planning and Building Regulations Departments are often located together in local council offices, as ‘Technical Services’ but do not fall into the trap of believing they are one and the same. It is possible for planning permission to be granted, and Building Regulations denied, or vice versa. Work can begin on your building 48 hours either after making an application for Building Regulations approval, or issuing a Building Notice. There are two ways of giving notice of the proposed work:

  • Submitting full plans, or
  • Giving Building Notice

The total fees payable are the same for each method. With full plans, part of the fee is paid when the plans are deposited and the remainder after the first inspection. With a building notice, the whole fee is paid when the notice is given.

FULL PLANS METHOD

Detailed plans of the project, location and site are submitted. The specification of materials used must also be provided. The plans will be checked to ensure they comply with all current building legislation. If there are any problems with the plans, you will be contacted with the required amendments.

jIt is very common for Building Regulations applications to be rejected (often more than once). If this is the case, the Inspector will write to you detailing the required amendments and inviting you to alter your plans accordingly. Building work can begin 48 hours after submitting the plans, but until the plans are approved, it is possible that you may be required to redo some work. Work on site will be inspected at various stages, but once your plans have been approved, you know that work will comply with all regulations as long as your plans are followed to the letter.

BUILDING NOTICE PROCEDURE

Building Notice procedure is simpler than the Full Plans Procedure and provides an alternative method of making the necessary application for the domestic work. Further details on this or any other part of the Building Regulation Process are available from website of Building Control Northern Ireland (www.buildingcontrol-ni.com).

BUILDING REGULATIONS INSPECTIONS

The law requires you to notify your building control office at certain stages of your build, in order for them to come and carry out their inspections...

They are not obliged to call at every stage, and discretion will often be used. The statutory time scales required for notification range from 24 hours to five days. The more notice you give, however, the more likely it is that they will visit your site at a time that suits your planning.

THESE ARE THE INSPECTION STAGES:iu

(please note these stages are only a guideline and will vary by Council)

  • Commencement
  • Foundation excavations
  • Sub-concrete
  • Superstructure
  • Drains, prior to backfilling
  • Occupation (of new building)
  • Completion

CERTAIN LOCAL AUTHORITIES ALSO ASK FOR NOTIFICATION AT ADDITIONAL STAGES, SUCH AS:

  • Radon membrane
  • First floor joists
  • Roof construction
  • Fire precaution works

Once the completed project has been inspected and all works comply, a Completion Certificate will be issued. This should be kept safely as it will be required if you decide to sell your property at a later date.

More detailed information on the requirements in your local area is available from the website of Building Control Northern Ireland (www.buildingcontrol-ni.com).