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Planning permission relates to the siting, design, size, height and bulk of a development and its impact on neighbouring properties and the surrounding area.

Applications for planning permission are assessed against national and local planning policies.

If you would like to contact the planning departments of any of our three local authorities please use the links below.

Building control relates to the actual construction of the work and uses the current Building Regulations to ensure, by inspection and approval, that the work is safe, healthy, minimises heat loss and also takes account of disabled access.

Once you are ready to start work on your project, you will need to contact us to let us know. Your building control surveyor will make a series of site visits at relevant stages to check everything is proceeding in accordance with the building regulations and in the case of a full plans application, with your approved plans.

A completion certificate will be issued when all stages have been inspected and have met the regulations. It is important that you keep this document safe, as you will need it should you remortgage or sell your property in the future.

The fee payable for your building regulations application will depend on the type of work you are carrying out. The total fee for a full plans or building notice is the same however the costs for a full plans are split into two payments with approximately one third paid with the submission of the application and the balance invoiced to you following your first site inspection. Our fee tables are broken down as follows:

Table A New domestic dwellings
Table B Extensions, conversions and detached garages
Table C Internal alterations, replacement windows, doors and roofs and other alterations
Table D Non-domestic work
Table E Non-domestic work

If your work does not fit into our standard fee tables please contact us using our fee quote form and we will get back to you usually within 24 hours (Monday-Friday).

If you are submitting a building notice application to us, a one-off building notice charge is payable at the time of submission.

If you are submitting a full plans application an initial plan charge is payable at the time of submission and you will then be invoiced for your inspection fee when we make our first inspection of your building works. (This covers all your inspections including a final inspection.) Fees can be paid online here.

Whichever type of application you submit, the total cost will be the same. This is because with a full plans application we will spend time checking your plans for compliance with the current regulations and liaising with any other consultees before work starts on site however with a building notice we will normally need to spend more time on site, ensuring that each stage of the build is compliant with the building regulations.

If you submit a building notice you can start work 48 hours after submitting the notice to us. We will confirm receipt of your application to us within two working days and provide you with contact details for your surveyor and information about what site inspections will be needed.

If you submit a full plans application you can start work once we have received a valid application but this will be at your own risk. It is advisable to wait for us to check your plans (usually within ten working days) and any calculations and receive approval before starting in case there is a problem on site.

Under current legislation we have to make a decision on your Full Plans application within five weeks or two months depending on the option you or your agent chooses.

If you employ an agent (designer/architect) to act on your behalf all contact at this stage will be referred to them as they should be best qualified to answer any technical/regulatory issues we may raise. If we need further information this should be provided to us in good time so that we can issue our approval for you to start work on site and avoid any unnecessary hold ups.

Occasionally we may have no choice but to reject an application where a request for outstanding information is not met within these timescales. However once the outstanding information for an application has been provided we can update our decision without it having to be resubmitted.

One of our building control surveyors (or one of our structural engineers if appropriate) will carry out site visits at various stages, liaising with your builder to offer advice and checking that the work meets today’s standards for modern homes. 

It is important to agree with your builder before work starts, who will be responsible for contacting us to arrange these visits. This can be done using the free LABC site inspection app (available for Apple or android devices) or by calling us no later than 9.45am on the day you would like the inspection on 0330 0249355.

The table here shows the types of inspections (visits) we would expect to carry out. 

To find the surveyor for your project visit the web page here

View a larger version of the image here.

Some work can be carried out without informing building control provided you use a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) registered installer.

An installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme is qualified to carry out specific types of work in accordance with building regulations and should both notify the local authority of the work and issue you with a certificate of compliance under the building regulations either directly or through their scheme operator.

If you don't receive your certificate within 30 days of completion, contact the Competent Person Scheme operator that your installer is registered with and they may be able to help you resolve the matter.

If you don't use an installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme then you will have to submit a building notice and pay a fee so that we can arrange inspection of the work for you.

To find an installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme in your area or check that your chosen installer is with a scheme visit and enter your postcode or the name of the installer in the relevant search box.

This is a list of the types of work covered by Competent Person Schemes.

  • Installation of cavity wall insulation
  • Installation of solid wall insulation
  • Installation of gas appliances
  • Installation or replacement of hot water and heating systems connected to gas appliances
  • Installation or replacement of a heating or hot water system connected to an electric heat source
  • Installation of fixed air conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems
  • Any electrical installation work in dwellings
  • Electrical installation work only in association with other work (e.g. kitchen installations, boiler installations)
  • Replacement windows, doors, roof windows, or roof lights in dwellings
  • Installation of plumbing and water supply systems and bathrooms and sanitary ware
  • Replacement of roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs (not including solar panels)
  • Installation of microgeneration or renewable technologies

Read this useful article to understand what elements of your project may need approval. Replacement kitchens and bathrooms

Building Control is unusual in being a regulatory function that can currently be undertaken by private sector companies (Approved Inspectors) as well as Local Authorities. This means that you can select a public or private sector service provider to oversee building regulations compliance on your project.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for that choice to be made or influenced by builders who may have different ideas to an owner on what constitutes ‘good’ service.

We would suggest you find out what level of service you can expect from the service provider for the fees that you will be paying. Ask about the experience and qualifications of their surveyors and how many site inspections will be carried out to check that the work in progress is to a good standard. Can they guarantee to make a same-day inspection when notified by 9.30am?

For anything but minor work we would suggest your provider carries out a detailed assessment of the design drawings and gives written confirmation that they are compliant; something that is standard procedure with a full plans application submitted to a Local Authority. This gives reassurance that you are building to approved plans and reasonable standards of workmanship and you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises about compliance as the work progresses.

Local Authorities do not work under the same commercial pressures that influence Approved Inspectors.  Local Authority Building Control’s remit above all else is to ensure that the interests of the customer are protected and we are a not for profit organisation.