“Is Full Plans Approval under the Building Regulations necessary, or can I use a Building Notice?”

6Full Plans or Buildlng Notice? – this is  dependant upon the level of information you need to construct the work at the outset – but you will need to provide all the information to the Local Authority eventually.

The application fee is likely to be the same for either but the full amount is paid up front for a Building Notice whereas a Full Plans application fee is paid in two instalments.

Building Notice is usually only advisable for very small uncomplicated works.

The main differences are:

  • A Full Plans application will be both drawn and described to comply with the Building Regulations. A deposit fee and an inspection fee are required. For smaller, simple domestic projects, this information will outline the scope of the project and is likely be sufficient to obtain competitive prices from builders. An approval will be issued together with a certificate upon satisfactory completion of the work.
  • Although there are no plans prepared, a Building Notice will allow you to commence work. However, the Building Inspector may require further detail and clarification as the work progresses in order to be satisfied that the work will comply on completion.  This would mean the detail being provided as the work progresses and this may require both design and further inspection fees in any case. An approval is not issued but a completion certificate will be issued upon satisfactory completion of the work.

A Full Plans application will have incurred the time and professional fees in preparation, but you are fully aware of the scope of the work and its cost, before construction starts.

With a Building Notice,  you may have saved the cost of a formal submission of plans but the requirement by the Building Inspector for information and evidence of compliance, is not diminished and you carry the added risk of not knowing the likely end cost of your building project from the outset.

Some Building Control bodies now make additional charges for a building notice where the lack of information makes it necessary for them to do more checking for compliance.