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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the information you want in our service pages, you may be able to find it on this main FAQ page.
After looking at the statistics of how users browse our site we have now focused on the most used services as priority, many hundreds of information pages on our site that were accessed rarely or sometimes not at all have now been removed to de-clutter and make our site easier to use.

However we still accept that some information is desirable to help our users better understand aspects of how Carlisle City Council services work, so we provide FAQ lists on most our section landing pages.
All FAQs including any FAQ that does not fit in any of our our site sections are accessible here in the master FAQ page.

Master FAQ ( select a category or search for answers )

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’.

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