Building regulations

Our planning service is divided into three areas,

Building regulations is a separate service that deals with details of building construction and the health and safety aspects of new buildings, extensions and alterations. It ensures that new building work is carried out in accordance with the building regulations and investigates reports of dangerous buildings

Planning is another service that considers applications for a variety of development proposals. Included are house extensions, changes of use of land and buildings, major housing and employment schemes, works to listed buildings, planning appeals and enforcement.

Planning policy is used to help determine planning applications - what can be built, where, and how buildings are used. It is also used to plan for our future needs, assessing what change is likely to happen and where, and what policies are needed to achieve this.

Housing is another service that may be able to give you advice and information on grants and energy efficiency.

PLEASE NOTE:
Charges currently in place​ under the Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 have been amended and a new scale of charges will come into operation on 1st August 2017.
The revised charges are available to download.​​
​​​​

  • Building inspection service

    Whether you are an owner, developer or agent we will assist you through the process of complying with the building regulations from application to the completion of your project and our service offers you the following:
    • Local knowledge backed by with historical records, helping to avoid hidden problems
    • Comprehensive knowledge of local ground conditions
    • Getting it right first time, concentrating on prevention rather than cure, this saves you time and money
    • Technical expertise on a full range of construction and building types
    • Locally based - we can provide site visits when you want them
    • Impartiality - all charges are invested in the service you receive
    • Fast turnaround of full plans applications
    • Pre application meetings and advice free of charge
    • Inspections tailored to your needs.

  • Building inspections

    To ensure that your building works comply with building regulations and any other relevant legislation, we will carry out inspections during construction. Following the deposit of your building notice or full plans application you can start work but you must give at least 48 hours notice to the council of your intention to start.

    The number and type of inspections that are required depend on the type of work; minor works usually need fewer inspections than complicated projects. However the inspections may include:
     Excavation of foundations before concreting
    Foundations when constructed
    Damp Proof Course when laid
    Site concrete or floor slab (before being laid)
    Drains (before backfilling)
    Drains (after backfilling)
    Prior to occupation
    Completion of work

    Most of the above refer to works that will be covered up below the ground but are not necessarily the only ones the inspector will make. Some projects require additional inspections specific to the work such as reinforcement of foundations and floor slabs, fire protection to the structure etc. Often you are advised to inform your inspector prior to plastering to enable the work to be inspected before covering up (pre-plaster inspection).

    When the work is completed let us know so we can carry out a completion inspection. Providing the work is in accordance with the regulations a Completion Certificate will be issued. This is an important document to you as it provides evidence that your project complies with building regulations. It is also advisable to obtain the certificate before settling the final account with your builder. The certificate may be requested by a solicitor if you come to sell your property or wish to raise capital from your property at a later date.

    Work not covered by building regulations
    Not all aspects of building work are covered by the building regulations for example:
    Standard of workmanship
    Finishing and decoration
    Water and central heating installations (except boilers, flues and heating controls)
    External works, fences, boundary walls paths and driveways (except disabled access)
    Installation of gas appliances (they must be installed by an approved installer)
    Inspections are available same day providing you call before 10am

    To book an inspection please contact us.

    Enforcement
    When work is found not to comply with the building regulations during construction or within two years of completion, we may (under the powers of Section 35 of the Building Act 1984) take legal proceedings for a fine at the local magistrates court.

    We may also serve notice (under the powers contained in Section 36 of the Building Act 1984) requiring the builder to take down or alter the building work within 28 days. Failure to comply with the notice before the expiration of 28 days can result in us pulling down or removing the work in question. Any costs reasonably incurred conducting the work can be recovered by us. If the builder disagrees with us he may notify that he intends to obtain an independent expert report, (under Section 37 of the Building Act 1984) in which case the time period is extended to 70 days.

    We may withdraw the notice in light of the independent report. Nevertheless, if they do not, the builder may appeal the Section 36 Notice to the Magistrates Court (under Section 40 of the Building Act 1984).

    From July 2002, the Law Society as part of solicitors’ “searches”, are required to ask questions to confirm that all necessary building control consents have been obtained for building works before a property can be sold or re-mortgaged. Failure to ensure that controlled building work complies with the building regulations may lead to difficulties, delays and possible additional costs in any future sale of the property.

    Your legal responsibilities
    The owner of a building or person having the work carried out is legally responsible for complying with building regulations. This includes applying for approval to carry out the work and ensuring the work on site meets the regulations. The builder is only responsible for notification of the statutory inspections. If you do not have a main contractor then you are also responsible for the notices. Although we are here to ensure that the regulations are complied with, we will help to assist you to achieve a reasonable standard. However we are not there to design the building or supervise the general work.

  • Building regulations

    Building regulation approval
    Most building work requires formal building regulation approval, such works include:
    Erection of a new building
    Extension of an existing building, including loft and garage conversions
    The material alteration of a building
    A material change of use of a building
    The installation, alteration or extension of a controlled service or fitting
    Structural alterations, such as the removal of a load bearing wall
    Installation of additional bathroom fittings
    Alterations to drainage systems
    Foundation underpinning
    Installation of cavity wall insulation
    Electrical work in dwellings
    Replacement external doors and windows when undertaken by a person or contractor not registered under a relevant Competent Person Scheme
    Erection of a building that is not exempt from the regulations
    Renovation of a thermal element (walls, roof or floors)
    Changing the energy status of a building. Property must undergo a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). More information about the SAP rating can be found online.

    Exemptions
    Building regulations exempt some buildings from the need to make an application. These include:
    Detached buildings housing machinery or plant where people only visit for maintenance or repair
    Certain greenhouses and agricultural buildings
    Small detached buildings under 30sq. metres where they contain no sleeping accommodation and are more than one metre from the boundary
    Extensions of existing buildings by the addition, at ground level, of a conservatory, porch, canopy, covered way or carport where the floor area does not exceed 30 sq. metres
    Temporary buildings that are to remain in place for no more than 28 days

    The Planning Portal “do you need permission” website provides further guidance and examples of where building regulations may be required.

    Making an application
    Once it is established that the work you intend to do requires an application, there are two ways in which to apply:
    Full plans application
    Building notice
    Application forms for building regulations are available to download.

    Full plans application 
    ‘Full plans’ means the submission of detailed plans, including specifications, calculations and other supporting documentation as necessary, to enable the building control surveyor to check your proposal for compliance with building regulations. The exact level of detail required will largely depend on the size and type of work proposed. Where your proposal is to be put to a use designated under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the application must be made as a ‘full plans’ application. This usually means all applications except those for new dwellings or extensions and alterations to dwellings. Some advantages of using a ‘full plans’ application are:
    Plans can be checked and approved prior to works starting
    Work carried out in accordance with the approved plans is compliant
    Problems can be highlighted and resolved before work commences
    Plans are normally checked within 15 working days of submission
    An Approval Notice will be issued together with copies of submitted plans stamped ‘approved’

    One copy of the form should be completed and submitted with the plans and particulars in duplicate in accordance with the provisions of Building Regulation 13. If the building is subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 then an additional two sets of plans will be required.

    Subject to certain exceptions, a full plans submission attracts a charge payable in two stages. The first charge must accompany the deposit of plans and the second charge is invoiced following the first site inspection of work associated with the application. This second charge covers all the site visits and consultations which are necessary through to completion (see fees and charges). You can also submit an application online through Submit-a-Plan for all applications.

    Building notice
    The building notice does not normally require the submission of detailed plans, requiring only the detail contained in the application form and a brief outline plan of the proposed work. No checking is carried out or approval notice issued. This method is ideally suited when small works are being carried out. In particular circumstances additional information may be requested to help clarify that the proposed works are in compliance with the Regulations. A building notice cannot be used where the proposed building use is subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Some advantages of using a ‘building notice’ are:
    The process is simple
    There is no cost in the preparation of detailed plans
    No delay waiting for the checking of plans
    Greater emphasis on site inspections
    Completion certificate is issued upon satisfactory inspection of completed work.

    Subject to certain exceptions, a building notice attracts a single payment to cover all necessary site inspections and administrative costs (see fees and charges). 

    One copy of the form should be completed and where the proposed work includes the erection of a new building or extension a location plan should also be included.

    Regularisation application
    In addition to the normal applications a regularisation application is available for retrospective approval to work carried out after November 1985, this is related to unauthorised work already completed. The application submission requires full plans and specifications etc. to accompany the application form.

    A regularisation submission attracts a charge payable with the deposit of plans. Before a certificate is issued the work will have to be inspected and any work that is identified as contravening the building regulations will need to be corrected. There are no enforcement powers requiring owners to make an application or to rectify any work unless it is considered dangerous.

    One copy of the form should be completed and submitted with the plans and particulars in duplicate.

    Fees and charges
    Charges are set in accordance with The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 and are with effect from October 1, 2010.

    Buildings exempt from fees
    The only applications that are exempt from fees are in situations where the work is necessary for the exclusive use of a disabled person. For example, this could include a disabled bedroom/bath/shower room or similar, and work necessary to enable the disabled person to negotiate around a dwelling. It does not include extensions that are to be used by other members of the household such as kitchen extensions or improvements not directly related to the requirement of the disabled person. If you require further information regarding building regulation charges contact us.

  • Dangerous structures

    Under Sections 77 and 78 of the Building Act 1984, we control dangerous buildings and structures. We treat all reported incidents seriously and provide a 24 hour, 365 days a year service. To notify us of a dangerous building or structure please contact us.

    Where we have been informed about a potentially dangerous building or structure, a building control surveyor will investigate (where possible and safe to do so) the reported building or structure as soon as is practical but within 24 hours. Where possible the owner(s) or occupiers of the premises will be informed.

    Depending on the outcome of the initial inspection, we will determine what action is necessary, ranging from regular monitoring to, in some cases, demolition or removal of the danger. We can order the owner(s) to ‘make safe’ or remove the danger. We can reclaim all our costs from the building owner(s). 

    You can report a dangerous structure online.

  • Demolition

    Under Section 80 of the Building Act 1984 anyone intending to carry out demolition work is required to notify us. Generally the demolition of all buildings, or parts of a building, exceeding 1750 cubic feet in volume will require notice to be given to the council. In most instances if you wish to carry out a demolition, you are required to notify us, giving six weeks notice of commencement and submit the following information:
    A site location plan indicating the building(s) to be demolished
    A site plan showing all the drains and sewers
    A copy of your notification to adjacent properties
    A copy of your notification to utility companies
    The proposed commencement and completion dates

    A counter notice (under Section 81 of the Building Act) will be served on you that may require you to carry out works to services and adjoining buildings. This is to ensure that gas, electricity and water supplies are made safe, redundant drains are sealed, affected buildings are properly supported and weatherproofed, and on completion, debris is removed and the site made safe.

    Enforcement
    Building or demolition works can cause problems for neighbours of the site. You can reduce or avoid causing any nuisance to the neighbours, or action being taken by us, if you follow this advice.
    Give us six weeks notice of demolition work.
    We may impose some conditions about how the work should be done
    Send a letter to the neighbours before work starts, telling them about the work and what to expect
    Give the neighbours a contact name and telephone number and keep them informed
    Deal promptly with any complaints received on site
    Keep dust, noise and smoke to a minimum, particularly noisy operations (e.g. pile driving)
    Pumps and generators should not be left running overnight if they can be heard outside the site

    If you are a householder doing some or all the work yourself, try to avoid causing any noise or dust in the evenings or on Sundays. If noise problems occur, the neighbours and us can take legal action. If you think your work may cause a significant nuisance to the neighbours from noise or vibration please contact us prior to commencing work.

    Smoke:
    Bonfires that release ‘dark smoke’ are illegal and we will prosecute any offenders
    Advice about bonfires is available from the Environmental Health Division and from the Fire Authority
    Stop the bonfire at the end of the working day

    Obstruction and damage to pavements:
    Do not let vehicles or materials block or damage the pavements
    Do not leave obstacles, holes or trenches where they are a danger, especially to disabled people (e.g. the blind) 
    We may charge you for any damage caused to pavements, kerbs or verges by lorries or heavy plant

  • National standards

    The building regulations are the national standards which apply to nearly all new buildings, extensions or alterations within England and Wales.

    They cover all aspects of construction including:
    • Foundations
    • The stability of the building
    • Damp proofing
    • Fire protection
    • Means of escape
    • Sound insulation
    • Ventilation
    • Drainage
    • Heating
    • Stairways
    • Energy conservation
    • Access and facilities for people with disabilities
    • Electrical safety in dwellings

     
    The current standards are the Building Regulations 2010, which are made under the Building Act 1984. The regulations apply throughout England and Wales and are continually being reviewed to improve health and safety in addition to improving efficiency.

    We are responsible for making sure developments within the Borough meet with these national standards.

  • Temporary structures

    Under the Chorley Borough Council Temporary Structures Byelaws 1996, where it is intended that a tent, marquee or similar structure is to be erected within the Borough of Chorley and the public are to be admitted, with or without charge, then the promoter shall give notice to the council and the fire authority 21 days prior erecting the temporary structure. If you are holding an event that will include such structures please contact building control who will be able to offer advice on any necessary notice and conditions that may apply to your proposal.

    Where the temporary structure is for a private function, such as a wedding for example, then the requirements do not apply.