Building Control FAQs

  • Do neighbours have the right to object to what is proposed in a Building Regulations application?

    There is no requirement to check with neighbours under the Building Regulations proposal. However, it would be courteous to advise your neighbours of the proposed works.

    If the proposed works are subject to the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, your neighbours may need to be informed. Further information can be found on the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website.

    If an application for planning permission is made, neighbours who may be affected by the proposal have the right to make an objection.

  • What will happen if the necessary inspections have not been arranged and carried out?

    The local authority could use its powers to have parts of the works opened up for inspection. You should also bear in mind that a Certificate of Completion may not be issued unless all the necessary inspections have been carried out.

    This could affect a future sale or lease of the property.

  • At what stages of building works must I notify Building Control?

    Commencement, excavations for foundations, foundations concreted, damp proof course, oversite preparation, drainage as laid (and before backfilling), drainage when on test, and completion or occupation.

    There are other elements of construction, such as floor joists, roof timbers, beams and their bearings that should also be inspected before they are covered up.

  • How soon can works start after submitting an application?

    Legally you can start two working days after submitting a Building Regulations application.

    However you must have notified us of your intention to start works and have obtained any other necessary consents such as Planning permission or permission from the water authority to build within three metres of a public sewer.

    You should also be aware that in starting works at short notice, you are doing so at your own risk, particularly if there has not been a reasonable opportunity for the details submitted to be vetted and for the local authority to consult with other statutory bodies such as West Sussex Fire and Rescue, West Sussex County Council and the Environment Agency regarding the proposal.

    Ultimately, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the works comply with the Building Regulations and any other relevant legislation.

  • Do I need an application to carry out repairs to my house or flat?

    No. If the repairs are of a minor nature or replacing like for like, a Building Regulations application is not required. This includes replacing small areas of brickwork, re-pointing, plastering, rendering and replacing a felt flat roof.

  • Do I need an application to install insulation in the cavity walls of my house?

    Yes. But if you use an approved installer, they will normally submit a Building Notice application as a matter of course.

  • Do I need an application to build a small detached building on my land?

    No. Provided the building is less than 30 square metres in floor area, contains no sleeping accommodation or foul water drainage and is either constructed of non- combustible materials or is more than a metre from a boundary.

  • Do I need an application to build a conservatory or porch?

    No, provided certain criteria are satisfied, a Building Regulations application is not required. Details can be found in our Technical Guidance.

  • Is an application required for a carport?

    No. If the area of the proposed carport or canopy is less than 30 square metres and open on at least two sides, a Building Regulations application is not required.

  • Do I need an application to build a garage?

    A Building Regulations application will not be required if the proposed garage is detached, single storey, less than 30 square metres in internal floor area and either a metre or more from any boundary or constructed from non-combustible materials.

    Planning permission or listed building consent may be required, irrespective of whether a Building Regulations application is required. This point should be borne in mind whatever the proposal.

  • What can I do if I have carried out building works without submitting an application?

    You could apply for a regularisation application if the works have been carried out since the 11th November 1985.

    Submitting an application does not automatically lead to a certificate being issued. We may need some of the works exposed for inspection and additional measures to ensure that the works are safe.

  • Must I consult the local authority if I am going to demolish some or part of a building?

    Yes, further details are to be found in our Demolitions page.

  • Do I need to submit an application for excavating a basement or enlarging an existing basement?

    Yes. A building regulations application is required. If the premises is a workplace a full plans application is required.

    If the property is in a terrace or semi-detached, The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 imposes a requirement for consultation with adjoining owners and leaseholders.

    Planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act's and the consent of Environmental Health may be required. Work should not start until all necessary permissions have been received.

    Structural details designed by an engineer are also required.

    Further details on the conversion of basements is available on the Planning Portal.

  • What roofing works require an application?

    Any building that is listed or in a conservation area may require an application for Listed Building consent for roofing works, especially if it involves changing the appearance of the roof.

    If a roof is being recovered with a material substantially heavier or lighter than the original covering, an application is required.

    The re-covering of a flat roof does not normally require the submission of an application. However, if the loading on the roof structure is being significantly altered, e.g. by providing machine plant or a roof garden, an application is required. The renewal of fixings and flashings does not require an application.

  • Do I need to submit an application for replacing windows?

    Yes, unless the installer of the replacement windows is FENSA registered. See our guidance note on replacing windows.