Making a building regulations application

You can download and submit an application form along with the appropriate charge.

We can accept application forms via email, or by post to Building Control, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ. Telephone 0345 140 0845 (option 4) if you need to contact us.

Please note if you need Planning Permission, this must be granted before works start on site.

Planning Portal

As well as planning applications, you can now also submit a building control application online with the Planning Portal.

Planning Portal Building Control Application Service 

The benefits of applying online include:

  • You can work on your applications in draft before submission
  • Immediate delivery and acknowledgement
  • Savings on postage and printing costs
  • Online help function when completing applications
  • Online record of your completed applications


Building Regulations Approval is given only for the purpose of the Building Regulations 2010 and the Building Act 1984. It is not an approval under the Town and Country Planning Act or for any other statutory provision.

The following questions and answers are for general guidance only. If you need more specific advice, please contact us.

Does the work you want to carry out on your property include any of the following:

A new dwelling?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

An extension to a dwelling?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

A conservatory or porch?
Generally no, see Exemptions. Otherwise, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

A detached garage?
Generally yes. You will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice. However, there are some exemptions.

A carport?
Generally no, see Exemptions.

Change the use of a building?
Generally yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice. However, in some situations, you will only be able to make a Full Plans application.

Convert a single dwelling to flats or change the number of dwellings in a building?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

Create a room or rooms in a loft (roof space)?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice. You are strongly advised consulting the Building Control Surveyors to discuss fire safety matters that will arise on this type of work before making your application.

To install or alter the position of a WC, Shower, Bath, Basin, Sink and its drainage, etc?
Yes. In all cases, where the work involves new or an extension of drainage or plumbing. Unless the work is supervised by a registered installer.

To install or alter the position of a heating appliance?
Gas: Yes, unless a registered installer under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations supervises the work.
Solid fuel: Yes. Unless the work is supervised by a HETAS registered installer.
Oil: Yes. Unless the work is supervised by an OFTEC registered installer.
Electric: Yes, for domestic properties after 1 January 2005.

To alter in any way (re-using of old chimneys or closed fireplaces) the construction of chimneys, fireplaces, hearths or flues?

To install (new or replacement) hot water storage?
Yes. Unless the work is supervised by a registered installer.

Install electric wiring?
Yes. From 1st January 2005, if the work is in a dwelling or the garden, (although there are some exceptions) you will need to make a Full Plan application or submit a Building Notice unless your electrician is registered with a competent persons self-certification scheme.

Replace a roof covering?
Generally yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

Replace windows?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice, or the work can be carried out by a FENSA registered installer.

Structurally alter the inside of a building (for example, the removal of an internal wall or chimney breast)?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

Structurally alter the outside of a building (for example, putting in a new window opening or patio doors)?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

Underpin foundations?
Yes, you will need to make a Full Plans application or submit a Building Notice.

Certain buildings and works are exempt from the requirements of the Building Regulations, subject to certain conditions. In the following instances an application will not be required.

Buildings controlled under other legislation
1. Any building the construction of which is subject to the Explosives Acts 1875 and 1923(a).
2. Any building (other than a building containing a dwelling or a building used for office of canteen accommodation) erected on a site in respect of which a license under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (b) for the time being in force.
3. A building included in the schedule of monuments maintained under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (c).

Buildings not frequented by people
A detached building:
1. into which people do not normally go; or
2. Into which people go only intermittently and then only for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery.
Unless any point of such a building is less than one and a half times its height from:
i. any point of a building into which people can or do normally go; or
ii. the nearest point of the boundary of the curtilage of that building, whichever is the nearer.

Greenhouses and agricultural buildings
1. subject to paragraph 3, a greenhouse.
2. A building used, subject to paragraph 3, for agriculture, or a building principally for the keeping of animals, provided in each case that:
i. no part of the building is used as a dwelling.
ii. no point of the building is less than one and a half times its height from any point of a building which contains sleeping accommodation; and
iii. the building is provided with a fire exit which is not more than 30 metres from any point in the building.
3. The descriptions of building in paragraphs 1 and 2 do not include a greenhouse or a building used for agriculture if the principal purpose for which they are used is retailing, packing or exhibiting.
4. In paragraph 2, "agriculture" includes horticulture, fruit growing, the growing of plants for seed and fish farming.

Temporary buildings
A building which is not intended to remain where erected for more than 28 days.

Ancillary buildings
1. A building on a site, being a building which is intended to be used only in connection with the disposal of buildings or building plots on that site.
2. A building on the site of construction or civil engineering works, which is intended to be used only during the course of those works and contains no sleeping accommodation.
3. A building, other than a building containing a dwelling or used as an office or showroom, erected for use on the site of and in connection with a mine or quarry.

Small detached Buildings
1. A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building, which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.
2. A detached building designed and intended to shelter people from the effects of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, and not used for any other purpose, if:
its floor area does not exceed 30m2 and
the excavation for the building is not closer to any exposed part of another building or structure than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation plus one metre.
3. A detached building, have a floor area which does not exceed 15m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation.

The extension of a building by the addition at ground level of:
1. a conservatory or porch, providing there is a door is between the main dwelling and the new structure.
2. a covered yard or covered way; or
3. a carport open on at least two sides;
Where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30m2 and provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing satisfies the requirements of Part N.
Note: You must ensure that the requirements of Part P (Electrical Safety in Dwellings) is not applicable, if in doubt contact your local Building Control Consultancy office.

The vast majority of applications we receive are either Full Plans applications or Building Notices.

Building Notice

For domestic alterations and extensions you can submit a Building Notice giving brief details of your proposals. This should be submitted 48 hours before the work starts together with the statutory charge, a location plan, and any drawings and details you may have. We do not normally need plans with a Building Notice application (other than a site plan if an extension is involved). If the works are complex, plans and calculations may be needed.

Building Notice Applications - the disadvantages

You will not receive the protection that an Approved Plan would give you, and the whole process of making sure your work complies with the Building Regulations is carried out at the site inspection stage. This has one major disadvantage, if a problem is found it will usually be after you have done a significant amount of work, which you may then have to take down and do again, at considerable expense. Please note that even if you choose to submit a plan with a Building Notice Application it will not be checked thoroughly. The only way to get an approved plan on which you can rely is to make a Full Plans application.

With a Building Notice Application you are effectively taking the whole risk of making sure the work complies with the building regulations on your own shoulders. You need to be very sure that you (or your builder) know all the relevant regulations and that you will be able to prove that the works comply to them when the Building Control Officer visits.
Building Notices can only be used for domestic applications.

Full Plans Applications
If you want to get formal approval for domestic works before the work begins you can submit a Full Plans application. Decisions can take up to five weeks but are usually given much sooner. Once you have received Full Plans approval you can notify us 48 hours before that the work is due to start. We then inspect the work on site.

All non-domestic work must be Full Plans applications so that we can consult the Fire Brigade to ensure that adequate Fire Precautions measures are provided. When making a Full Plans application you should enclose the appropriate charge together with two copies of the drawings and if appropriate, structural calculations, giving full details of your proposals.
We will only reject your application if it shows major contraventions of the Building Regulations. Wherever possible we will approve it, if necessary with conditions where we need additional information or if minor changes are needed. If you or your agent disagrees with our decision you have the right to appeal to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The charge for the application is generally paid in two parts - normally you pay the plan deposit fee when the application is submitted and the remainder will be invoiced to you when works start. This is not always the case however and you should refer to the charges schedules for further details.

You need to have a set of very detailed plans drawn up to include all the information necessary to carry out the work - from the depth of the foundations to the height of the chimney. Although some applicants do prepare these plans themselves, most need to employ a designer or Architect to do this for them.

Once the plans have been submitted to us it takes about two weeks for us to carry out the required checks and notify you (or your agent) as to whether they are satisfactory or not. If more information is required or the plans need to be amended, then there can be a further delay while we wait for the details requested. Because of this, it often takes between 5 and 8 weeks for you to receive a formal decision.

In both cases the application must be made before works start and when the works have been completed to our satisfaction, you will be sent a completion certificate confirming that the works comply with the Building Regulations. The completion certificate is a very important document. When you sell the property, you will almost certainly be asked for proof that any work carried out complied with all relevant regulations. Please keep it safely.
There is one other type of application available:

Regularisation Certificate

It is illegal to carry out work requiring Building Regulation consent without first obtaining consent. A Regularisation Certificate is used only where works have already been carried out without consent.

If you make an application for a Regularisation Certificate we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit the property, and then make an initial appraisal of the work requiring consent. It is highly likely that at this stage you will be asked to "open up" works so that we can see the construction hidden behind plasterboard or under floors etc.

Once we have seen all the work considered necessary, we will determine if it complies with the Building Regulations and if it does, a Regularisation Certificate will be issued. If it doesn't you will be notified in writing of any defects and a Regularisation Certificate won't be issued until they are put right. 

We strongly advise you not to place yourself in a position where a regularisation certificate is your only option as:

  • You will almost certainly have to "open up" works, which is expensive, causes damage to decoration, and at the very least, is highly inconvenient.
  • Even where the work is found to comply with the Building Regulations (which is rare) it takes two to three weeks to get a Regularisation Certificate. Where problems are found it can take considerably longer.
  • It is always more expensive to fix problems after the event than to avoid them in the first place.

Please note if you need Planning Permission, this must be granted before works start on site.

Full Plans Applications

The first stage of any Full Plans application is known as the plan stage. This first stage involves the applicant submitting detailed plans for approval. These plans are very carefully checked by a building control officer to ensure they include all necessary information, and that they comply fully with building regulations. Wherever possible, applicants are given the opportunity to make amendments (if needed) before either an approval, conditional approval or rejection is given.

The second stage is known as the inspection stage. This is when work starts on site and a series of site visits are made to check that work proceeds in accordance with the plan, and complies with regulations.

Building Notice Applications

For more simple works, an alternative application (known as the 'building notice application') is available, together with more specialised application types to meet specific needs.
Complicated schemes and large projects take longer to deal with than smaller projects, mainly due to the necessary consultation process. To reduce this period to a minimum we have service level agreements with groups we consult.

During the construction process, inspections will be made at your request. Usually these will be made on the same day the request is made if you telephone before 9.30am. When contacting us for an inspection, it will help us to give you prompt attention if you tell us:

  • The inspection you require (ie. excavations)
  • Preferred time of visit (am or pm)
  • Application Number
  • Full site address
  • Builder's name

It is important that you request all of the relevant inspections at the right stage so that a completion certificate can be issued at the end of the project.

Sefton Councils Building Regulation charges are competitive, reflect excellent levels of service and are available on application to our Building Control Team 0345 140 0845 (option 4) or

Charges are determined in relation to the value of works being carried out.

You can make card payments online (see below) or by telephoning us on 0345 140 0845 (option 4).

Please note that we no longer accept cash payments at our offices in Magdalen House.

We can't accept an application unless it is accompanied by the appropriate charge. In the case of works designed for the sole benefit of disabled people, whether that be in commercial premises or dwellings, the Building Regulation charge is waived. Examples of this type of work include the construction of a disabled accessible WC, internal alterations to assist a wheelchair user and making a building more accessible.

Where a Full Plans application has been approved, you or your builder have notified us that the work is completed, and a satisfactory final inspection has been made, we will issue a formal Certificate of Completion to show that the work complies with the Building Regulations. This certificate can be particularly useful if the building is subsequently sold or if you are securing additional funds.

When work is carried out contrary to the Building Regulations, enforcement action may be taken. Wherever possible we will discuss these problems with you so that the work can be corrected quickly, with the least inconvenience to all concerned and to avoid enforcement action.

Sometimes work is completed without our knowledge which needs retrospective approval. We will do all we can to help you, but you may need to submit an application for a Regularisation Certificate and pay the appropriate fee. You need to inform us when we can inspect the property, usually within 48 hours and we will let you know if anything needs to be done before a Regularisation Certificate can be issued. Some parts may need to be opened up for inspection and we will advise you accordingly. We will try to keep any disturbance to a minimum.