Building regulations approval is required to construct certain structures in the United Kingdom. It can usually be obtained in one of two ways:
1. Full plans method - drawings are deposited with an Approved Inspector or the Local Authority and subsequently checked for compliance with the Building Regulations. The various stages of the work are also inspected and checked for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. Unlike planning permission, work may start before approval has been granted.
2. Plans Notice method - notice of commencement of work is given to the Local Authority at least two days prior to commencement. The various stages of the work are then inspected and approved by the Local Authority, but no plans are checked. Note that this method may not be used if the premises contain a workplace, or creates new flats.
Approved Inspectors must issue their ‘Initial Notice’ (stating that the Approved Inspector is the building control body for the specified work project, at a specific address and/or building site) to the relevant Local Authority before any controlled building work starts on site.
Generally, fees are paid to the Building Control Body with each application, and will vary depending on the size and value of the project. Some types of work may be exempt from fees, e.g. adaptations or alterations for Disabled Persons. A Building Control Body should issue a ‘Completion Certificate’ or ‘Final Certificate’ upon the practical completion of each building project, to state that the work meets the technical requirements of the Building Regulations.