Failure to obtain building regulations approval

The majority of building work requires building regulation approval. Sometimes this requirement is overlooked and the works continue without inspection.  Obtaining building regulation approval is important, and if you fail to obtain the correct approval, the works will be recorded as a contravention of the regulations.  Failure to obtain building regulation approval could have health and safety implications for people using the building.

It is usual for this problem to come to light when a property is put on the market.  There is an option available to you if you have carried out works, or have become the owner of property on which building works have been carried out, without an application having been made. In such a case you can apply retrospectively with a regularisation application form.  This can make it possible to bring the work into conformity with the regulations and to obtain a regularisation certificate which is usually adequate to satisfy the requirements of the new owner.

It cannot be stressed too highly that the correct procedure is to obtain approval before works commence and to ensure that the works are inspected during the construction process.

The following are points which must be considered before an application for regularisation is made:

  • the works must have been commenced after the 11 November 1985
  • both the authority and the applicant must be willing to undertake the regularisation process

To ensure that there is potential to successfully complete the regularisation process, an initial inspection will be made by a building control officer.  There are some projects which cannot be regularised.

Procedure to apply for a retrospective building works application 

Complete and forward the application form with the appropriate fee.  The charge required is 150 per cent of the net figure of our full plans/building notice charge. This type of application is exempt from VAT.

Please provide any drawings or technical information you have that will help to determine whether the works are adequate.

When the application has been accepted, an inspection of the works will be carried out and a list of defects/work which needs to be exposed will be provided to the applicant. 

When all the works have been completed satisfactorily and the building control officer is, so far as is reasonably practical, sure that all relevant requirements have been satisfied, a regularisation certificate will be issued.

Planning or listed building consents

Planning permission may be required for building works that you have carried out.   If the property is a listed building, you will need a listed building consent.  If you are not sure whether permission would have been required please contact our conservation officer.  Please note that it is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works to a listed building and that includes new stairs and other internal works.

For further advice please contact the building control team.