There are two options when submitting an application for building works; an application for building control approval with full plan or a building notice application. Both of these types of application need to be submitted before you start work and the total fee for each is the same and is payable to the Surrey Heath Borough Council.
The choice is Yours - It is up to you to decide which application to submit, unless the work is for a commercial building, in which case you can only submit an application for building control approval with full plan
Application for building control approval with full plan
In this case, you as the building owner or your agent/architect submit an application with plans showing full a construction specification of the work together with any relevant structural calculations.
Using this route once we have checked your plans and are satisfied they meet the building regulations you will receive a formal decision on your plans known as an "approval notice".
You also have the added assurance that provided the works are carried out in accordance with the approval that a completion certificate will be issued to you once all the work is finished.
Building notice applications
A building notice is generally used for minor works such as removal of an internal load-bearing wall, where the person carrying out the work is familiar with current building regulations. One advantage is that it allows work to start 48 hours after submission of the application as there is no plan checking involved before work begins and therefore no approval notice is issued.
It cannot be used for works to commercial buildings.
If you are submitting a building notice you must feel confident that the work will comply with the current building regulations because when we inspect the work if it doesn't comply you run the risk of having to rectify this at your own expense.
Provided the works are carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations a completion certificate will be issued to you once all the work is finished.
A person who proposes to carry out building work shall not start that work unless;
a. that person has given the relevant authority notice of intention to start work;
b. at least two days have elapsed since the end of the day on which the notice was given.
All building work must be inspected by one of our building control surveyors at key stages. This is not only to ensure that the work meets the current building regulations, but it also provides an opportunity for contractors to raise any queries they may have.
Please see our section on Inspections for more information
From 1st October 2023
The person carrying out the work must notify us no more than 5 days after the day on which work is regarded as commenced
For complex building, as defined in Regulation 46A (5), work is to be regarded as commenced in relation to that building or the first stage of building work for that building when the foundations supporting the building and the structure of the lowest floor level of that building (but not the other buildings or structures to be supported by those foundations) are completed.
Where the work consists of either the construction of a building and the paragraph above does not apply; or a horizontal extension of a building, work is to be regarded as commenced when the sub-surface structure of the building or the extension including all foundations, any basement level (if any) and the structure of ground floor level is completed.
Where the work does not consist of work to which the previous 2 paragraphs apply; commencement will be when it is agreed that 15% of the work has been completed.
Completion of work
It is very important that you contact your building control surveyor to arrange for a final inspection when all the work is complete.
From 1st October 2023
Regulations 16 of the 2010 Building Regulations:
(16) Subject to Paragraph (8), a person carrying out building work shall, not more than five days after that work has been completed, give the relevant authority notice which complies with paragraph (4A).
(4A) The notice under paragraph (4) must include—
(a)the name, address, telephone number and (if available) email address of the client;
(b) the name, address, telephone number and (if available) email address of the principal contractor (or sole contractor) and the principal designer (or sole or lead designer);
(c) a statement that the building work is complete;
(d) a statement, signed by the client, confirming that to the best of the client’s knowledge the work complies with all applicable requirements of the building regulations;
(e) a statement given by each principal contractor (or sole contractor) for the work and each principal designer (or sole or lead designer) for the work, signed by the person to which the declaration relates, which includes—
(i) the name, address, telephone number and (if available) email address of that person;
(ii) the dates of their appointment, and
- (aa) in the case of a principal contractor (or sole contractor), that they fulfilled their duties as a principal contractor under Part 2A (dutyholders and competence) of these Regulations;
- (bb) in the case of a principal designer (or sole or lead designer), that they fulfilled their duties as a principal designer under Part 2A (dutyholders and competence) of these Regulations.
Once we are satisfied that the work is complete a completion certificate can be issued to you for safekeeping.
This is an important document should you decide to sell or remortgage your property in the future. (We would also recommend that you obtain your completion certificate before making final payment to your builder.)