The Building Control makes sure that buildings are designed and built to ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people using them.
The current Building Regulations were introduced in 1991 and have been altered several times.
The main areas covered by the regulations are:
Building control generally operates as a two-stage process, referred to as the Full Plans application. The first stage is at the plan stage and involves detailed plans being sent in for approval. These plans are then checked by a Building Control Officer to make sure they follow Building Regulations. Wherever possible, applicants are given the opportunity to make changes if needed before a decision is given. The second stage is the inspection stage, which starts when work begins on site. Then a series of site visits are made to check that the work is done in line with the plan, and building regulations.
For more simple works a different process is available, which is called a Building Notice application. This does not need any plans to be submitted with the notice, although in the case of the erection or extension to a building a block plan to a scale of not less than 1:1250 must be submitted along with the notice. During work, the Council may need further details to make sure regulations are being followed. Once the notice and payment have been received, works can start 48 hours later.