Site Inspection Information
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Building Control approval is totally separate to Planning Permission. You may need one, or the other, or both. Planning Permission deals with the appearance of the proposal and the effect it will have on the neighbours etc whereas we exist to ensure buildings are safe to use, energy efficient and accessible to all. This is largely achieved through the Building Regulations by the approval of plans and site inspections.
At Devon Building Control our service extends well beyond that, ensuring that homes and businesses have access to surveyors for advice at the design stage right through to the completion of the works.
Types of Application
Full Plans Application – Suitable for all work. Plans are checked for compliance with Building Regulations, giving you and your builder peace of mind as you will be working to approved drawings. All non domestic work must be covered by a Full Plans application.
Building Notice Application – Suitable for all domestic work providing you are not building over or within 3m of a public sewer, or building a new dwelling which fronts onto a private road. If you are in any doubt, please contact South West Water or us for further clarification.
Whichever application type is submitted, work will be checked on site at various stages. Upon completion of works, a certificate is issued which will be needed when the property is sold.
There is also a Regularisation Application – this is when works have already been started or completed without a previous application. Only works commenced since 1985 can be regularised.
Some examples of when a Building Regulation application is required:-
- When erecting or extending a building
- Conversion of a house to flats or bedsits
- When building an attached, and some detached, garages
- When converting a loft or roofspace
- Underpinning a building
- Replacement windows
- Electrical works
- Installation of heating appliances including wood burners
- New kitchen, wc or bathroom that involves new waste pipes or underground drainage.
Latest Home Improvement Advice
LABC have launched a new guide for home owners giving practical advice on home improvements.
Some examples of exempt building work:-
- Conservatories and porches are exempt providing they have a floor area of less than 30m², all glazing complies with Part K (Glazing, safety in relation to impact etc), are single storey and built at ground floor level. They also need to be separated from the habitable parts of the building by suitable windows, doors or walls. The extent of control under the Regulations will also depend on whether the conservatory's heating system has independent temperature and on/off controls
- Carports, providing they are less than 30m² and are open on at least two sides
- Garages and small detached buildings which have a floor area of less than 15m² and contain no sleeping accommodation. If they are between 15m² and 30m², they must be more than 1m from the boundary or its curtilage or be constructed substantially of non combustible material
- A detached building to store plant or machinery and not normally used by people.
Under Section 80 of the Building Act 1984, in most cases there is a requirement to submit a Notice to the Council if demolition is being carried out to a building more than 1750 cubic feet (approximately 49metres³). The exceptions to this are:
- Where demolition work is only to an internal part of the building and the building will remain occupied throughout the works.
- Where the building to be demolished is agricultural unless it is attached to a non-agricultural building.
- Where the building to be demolished is a greenhouse, conservatory, shed or prefabricated garage (whether it is attached or not)
- Where a demolition order has been made under the Housing Act 1985
If you are carrying out non-exempt demolition works, you should submit a Section 80 Notice, along with a site plan edging buildings to be demolished in red, to ourselves 6 weeks prior to the intended commencement date. Download a form here. There is currently no charge for this process. You also have a duty to notify occupiers of adjoining buildings and the gas and electricity suppliers, where applicable - this is not done on your behalf by the Council.
What Happens Next
Within 6 weeks of receipt of the notice, we will issue a notice under Section 81 of the Building Act 1984 outlining any applicable conditions or requirements of the demolition works. A copy of this will be sent to both the person intending to carry out the works and the applicant. Once you have received this notice, and complied with any relevant conditions, you are entitled to start works.
Before starting any work that is likely to disturb asbestos, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and a plan of work should be prepared. Further information regarding asbestos can be found on the HSE website.