How to make an application
There are 2 routes for making a building regulation application, a Full Plans or a Building Notice application. Which you apply for depends on a number of factors - we can't advise you to take one or the other, as the choice you make will depend on the work you're doing along with other considerations. We offer a comparison of these 2 routes to help you decide.
Some detached garages, conservatories and porches are exempt from requiring building regulation approval altogether - please see our exempt buildings guidance for more information.
The building regulation approval process is split into 2 parts. We approve
- The application submission
- The work on site
Irrespective of which route you take, you must make a submission before you commence your building work. Both routes of application allow you to start work once you have given us 2 days' notice of the commencement of work, after submitting a valid application.
Neither of these 2 options should be confused with planning permission. Building regulation approval and planning permission are separate processes. Visit the Planning Portal website for more details about planning permission.
Charges are not refundable
Neither Full Plans or Building Notice charges are refundable, if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the work.
Building over or close to public sewers
On 1 October 2011, water and sewerage companies in England and Wales became responsible for private sewers, which were previously the responsibility of property owners. Not all private pipes were included. There are some cases where the property owners remain responsible for the sections of pipe between the property / building and the transferred private sewer or lateral drain.
If you intend to build over or within 3 metres of a sewer owned by Thames Water (a public sewer), you will need their written agreement to do so. You are also unable to use the Building Notice procedure where this situation arises.
It is not always a requirement to enter into an agreement with Thames Water. It is, however, still necessary for the fact that the sewer has been built over to be registered for land charges purposes.
Thames Water may specify certain conditions regarding the building work as part of the agreement, and will require the payment of a fee to cover maintenance costs etc. You can make an make an application for building over a public sewer on the Thames Water website.
We will inform Thames Water when we receive an application that shows a proposal to build over or near a public sewer which is shown on the existing map of sewers. As the property owner, you are responsible for contacting Thames Water to seek their agreement to your proposals. Thames Water will contact you to seek details and the payment of a fee for the registration process. Contact Thames Water for information on the transfer of public sewers.
Party Wall Act Act 1997
This legislation protects the interests of property owners involved or affected by building work Visit the Gov.uk website for more information about the Party Wall Act.
Resolving boundary disputes
Minor disagreements can quickly escalate to involve solicitors and court action. Read the Boundary wall disputes guide on the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.