Building Regulations

Building Regulations apply in England & Wales and promote standards for most aspects of a building's construction, energy efficiency in buildings, the needs of all people, including those with disabilities, in accessing and moving around buildings.

Good practice guidance is issued by 'Communities and Local Government' to augment policy and advise on the best way of achieving certain technical outcomes.

Is Building Regulation approval the same as planning permission?

No. Building Regulation (BR) approval is entirely separate from the process of obtaining planning permission, which may be required for domestic work regardless of whether the scheme is controllable or exempt under the Building Regulations.

Do Building Regulations apply?

The majority of domestic work which requires Building Regulations approval, falls into the following categories:

The erection of a new building or the extension of an existing building for example, a kitchen extension or loft conversion. (Some "extensions" are exempt from the Building Regulations.)

Structural alterations to an existing building. Examples would include underpinning, formation of a through lounge or partial removal of chimney breasts.

Changing the use of an existing building such as converting a house to flats.

The provision of new drainage or the extension or alteration of drainage facilities for example, providing a toilet under the stairs.

Should you be in any doubt as to whether your proposals require consent, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01228 817184

What is the difference between Full Plans Applications and Building Notices?

Full Plans Applications

Prior to the commencement of work on site, you will need to submit two copies of plans showing full constructional details of the proposed scheme together with the completed form and appropriate charge. Unless you have a thorough working knowledge of the regulations and building construction in general it is best to seek professional advice in this regard.

Your application will be checked by one of the Building Control Surveyors and if the plans show compliance with the regulations they will be approved. Should amendments or further information be required, you will be asked to submit revised details in order that your scheme may be approved.

There is a statutory time limit of five weeks (extendable to two months with agreement) in which to determine your application, although the aim will always be to process your submission as quickly as possible.

Site inspections will be made when work proceeds but with the Full Plans approach you have the assurance that providing the work is carried out in accordance with the approved plans the regulations will be satisfied.

Building Notices

If you choose this option, no detailed plans are required as the emphasis is on site supervision. You simply need to fill out a form advising Carlisle City Council of your intention to carry out building work and supply the appropriate charge. The Building Notice is particularly suited to simple domestic schemes such as internal alterations and small extensions. Plans/details may be requested in some situations (e.g. structural calculations for loft conversions/through rooms etc.) but only when absolutely necessary.

Without plans there is no detailed check of the work before it is carried out and therefore no official decision notice is issued. Whilst the Building Control Surveyor will try to anticipate potential problems it is ultimately the responsibility of the person carrying out the work to ensure that the requirements of the regulations are satisfied.


A regularisation application can be submitted in cases where building works have been undertaken after the 11th November 1985 without Building Regulation approval having been applied for. In these circumstances you can now apply to building control to regularise the situation and obtain a Regularisation Certificate. It is now very common for such contraventions to come to light during the house sales search process. This can cause problems for the house seller not able to supply the buyers with the appropriate approval notice and/or completion certificate. We cannot regularise situations prior to the above date. An owner is under no obligation to submit an application and equally, the council are under no obligation to accept an application.

As in most cases the work will have been completed and some opening up work may be required, it is the owner’s responsibility to arrange for this work to be carried out to allow Building Control to determine Building Regulations compliance has been achieved. Work not complying with the Building Regulations needs to be corrected by the owner. The owner must be willing to comply with all such reasonable requests for opening up and remedial work to achieve Building Regulation compliance. If the owner refuses to undertake work the regularisation procedure is ended, no charges paid will be refunded and no ‘Regularisation Certificate’ will be issued. Once Building Control are satisfied that the requirements of the Building Regulations have been achieved we will issue a ‘Regularisation Certificate’.

How do I obtain Building Regulation Approval?

There are two ways of making an application for domestic work (see Full plans and Building Notice.) Application forms are available from Carlisle City Council.

How much do I have to pay?

Full details of Building Regulations charges and amounts payable for domestic work are supplied with your application forms and available on our Building Control fees page.

If the work is for the benefit of a disabled person then it may qualify for exemption from the payment of charges. For further information please contact us on 01228 817184

How much notice do I need to give for a site inspection?

The regulations require that the person carrying out building work shall give Building Control notice when the work has reached a particular stage. The prescribed stages are set out below. The notice may be written, given by telephone or emailed to the Building Control Surveyor. Please email

What are the Building Regulations?

The Building Regulations are legal requirements aimed at achieving minimum standards of construction. The main purpose of the Regulations is to safeguard the health and safety of people in or about buildings. They are also concerned with energy efficiency and access and facilities for disabled people.

What do I do on completion?

When your work is finished you should contact Carlisle City Council to arrange a final inspection. We recommend that any final payments to builders only be made after the Building Control Surveyor has carried out a satisfactory completion inspection.

Once it has been confirmed that your work meets the required standards, we will be pleased to issue you with a completion certificate.

When can I start work?

You may start work after you have submitted either a Building Notice or a Full Plans application and at least two days notice has been given of your intention to commence work (preferably in writing).

Either you or your builder should then notify Carlisle City Council at each of the stages listed below (where appropriate):-

  • Commencement
  • Foundation excavations prior to concreting
  • Foundation concrete
  • Oversite (ground floor) prior to concreting
  • Damp proof course prior to covering
  • Foul water drainage prior to backfilling
  • Surface water drainage prior to backfilling
  • Drains test
  • First fix electrics
  • Occupation prior to completion
  • Completion of works

The Building Control Surveyor may also request notification at other stages of the work that is not specifically included within the Regulations e.g. roof timbers.

The above statutory framework for inspections is obviously not appropriate for all types of work, for example, in the case of loft conversions. After the commencement visit, inspections of the structural elements will normally be required prior to covering up.

Downloadable Documents

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Microsoft Word formatFull Plans Application in Word format100 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatBuilding Notice in Word format100 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatRegularisation in Word format100 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

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