About the process

Checking the application

If an application meets current building regulations standards then the application will be approved.

In some cases a conditional approval will be issued if additional information is not available at the time the application was submitted and approved.

Conditional approval needs to take place prior to the relevant work commencing on site, such as manufacturer’s calculations for roof trusses.

There is an eight-week time limit on issuing a decision for a full plans application.

Building within three metres of a Thames Water drain

If you are building over or near a shared or public drain, you will be required to enter into a 'build over agreement' with Thames Water, which own and are responsible for the maintenance of these drainage runs.

Find out more about building over or near a sewer

Competent persons' scheme

If your building work involves electrical work, gas or solid fuel heaters, you should employ qualified and competent trades people to do the work. The contractor is required be to registered on the competent persons' scheme and they are required to issue you with a certificate to confirm the completed works. 

If your contractor is not be registered, please contact us at the start of the project. We will need to arrange additional inspections to inspect the works, which will incur an additional cost.

Find out more about the competent persons' scheme

Site inspections

The purpose of site inspections is to make sure that the person carrying out the work complies with building regulations before any work is covered up. 

Book an inspection 

Alteration and installations

We need to inspect your work at least two working days before you cover up any elements or fittings and within five working days of all work finishing.

Substantial building work

You, or your builder, must tell us about:

  • commencement of work
  • excavations for foundations
  • foundation concrete
  • oversite preparation prior to concreting
  • reinforcement prior to concreting
  • damp proof course laid
  • exposed drains ready for inspection (and on test)
  • first floor joists
  • steel beams/columns (prior to encasing)
  • roof timbers (prior to covering)
  • fire protection
  • drains backfilled and on test
  • occupation of the building
  • completion of works

We may also make additional inspections where we feel these are necessary.

We recommend that you take an interest in the work you are having carried out. Arrange to meet the builder and building control surveyor together on site so that any building regulations problems can be resolved before the builder leaves the site.

Completion certificates

Please note it is your legal responsibility to notify us no later than seven days after the work has been completed.

On completion we will provide, on request, a certificate to verify that your work has been inspected.

A completion certificate can be presented to financial institutions, solicitors, surveyors and so on, when evidence is needed that the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the council.

We always recommend that you obtain the completion certificate before settling your final account with your contractor. It can prove difficult to get contractors back to site to rectify defects once they have been paid.

An approval notice or completion certificate issued by the council should not be considered as a guarantee or warranty. The council are not liable for any economic loss due to defects or failure to meet minimum requirements of the regulations.

Quality of work

Please be aware building regulations are not a means to control the quality of work. You may be unhappy with the work you have had carried out but if it meets the minimum health and safety standards of the building regulations the council are obliged to deem the work satisfactory.

You will need to speak to your builder if you are unhappy with the work undertaken.

Enforcement charter

Our enforcement charter sets out the standards of service you can expect when we deal with breaches (or allegations of breaches) of building regulations.

Our service charter

Our service charter sets out the standards of service you can expect when dealing with our building control inspectors.