When do I need to make a Building Control application and when do they apply?
If you intend to erect a new building, build an extension or make structural alterations you must inform your Council. Councils’ have a statutory duty to enforce the Building Regulations (NI) 2000.
The following types of operations require building regulation approval:
Please click here to access an application form or you can apply online at www.submitaplan.com
How long will it take to process my application?
We aim to deliver a 28-calendar day turnaround time. This timeframe is measured from the date of submission of a valid application until your first meaningful correspondence, i.e. an approval notice or a request for additional information.
How long does my application last?
An application remains valid until the Council’s Building Control Unit issues a notice of No Effect. Such a notice is usually issued three years from the date of submission. An extension can be given in certain circumstances.
I have carried out work without Building Control Approval, how can I get a Completion Certificate?
Unfortunately you can't, however you can get it 'regularised'. Regularisation is attaining retrospective approval for Building Regulation approval. Only commercial and domestic works post October 1973 are eligible for regularisation.
What is the process for Regularisation?
Complete the standard Regularisation application form, which can be accessed by clicking here.
You will need to provide the following information:
Contact Building Control to arrange a suitable date for an inspection to be conducted. If all is satisfactory then a Regularisation certificate will follow.
You should note that it might be necessary to open up works and/or carry out additional works to attain compliance.
How much does it cost to obtain Building Control approval?
Click here to download the Building Control pricing schedule
How can I arrange an inspection?
There are certain stages of work at which you are required to notify the Building Control office that the works are available for inspection. Inspections can be requested in writing, by telephone, in person or by email. Please click here for the relevant contact details.
When can I start the work?
Regardless of the type of application, e.g. building notice or full plan, you can commence work as soon as you lodge the application. It is important to notify your area surveyor as soon as you commence.
IF IN DOUBT, PLEASE CONTACT BUILDING CONTROL WHERE EXPERIENCED PERSONNEL ARE HAPPY TO HELP.
Is Building Regulation Approval the same as Planning Permission?
No, Building Regulation approval under the Building Regulations is entirely separate from the process of obtaining Planning Permission.
Planning permission may be required for proposed works and should be investigated prior to the commencement of the works.
How long will it take to get Planning Permission?
The Planning Service is a separate service from Building Control. For information on the planning process please phone the Planning Service on 028 4461 8000.
What is a Full Plan Application and how is it processed?
This is the traditional Building Control application, where the applicant submits duplicate plans and specifications for approval before commencing works on site.
Commercial applications require fire safety related plans to be submitted in triplicate.
A Building Control Surveyor with a view to approving the submission will carry out an assessment of the proposed scheme of works.
Should the proposed scheme demonstrate a potential contravention of the Building Regulations, the applicant or agent representing the applicant, will be advised of the necessary amendments required before approval can be granted.
What is a Building Notice?
A Building Notice may be submitted instead of a full application; and with a Building Notice you are not required to submit any plans if you do not wish to do so. However, when on site the Building Control Surveyor has the right to ask for additional information.
If no plans have been formally submitted, then no approval certificate will be issued.
If you decide to follow the Building Notice avenue the procedure is as follows:
Fill out a building notice application form, which is available from Building Control.
Pay a fee, which entitles you to site inspections and completion certificate.
N.B.Additional information may still be required.
What are the requirements that I have to meet when installing smoke alarms and heat detectors within my dwelling?
The smoke alarm and heat detector should be designed to British Standard 5446.
Smoke alarms should be:
Heat detectors should be:
Smoke alarms and heat detectors must be wired into an independent circuit or connected to a lighting circuit associated with the main living quarters.
Depending on the circumstances other requirements are necessary. Please contact Building Control on 028 9250 9250 for a full explanation.
I am considering installing oil-fired heating. Do I need to make an application?
If you are installing the oil-fired appliance in the location of your existing heating appliance and connecting to the existing flue an application will not be required.
If you are installing the appliance in a different location or installing a new flue in the same location an application will be required.
I am considering converting my roof space to provide bedrooms on a new second floor, am I required to replace my existing doors with fire doors?
Provided the existing doors are imperforate you will only be required to fit door closers to these doors. If you are replacing your existing doors they will require replacing with doors that have been tested to FD20 standard with self closer.
All doors opening into the stairwell at second floor level will require to meet FD20 standard.
N.B. Other regulations apply to roof space conversions that will cover areas such as:
I am considering building a conservatory. Is it exempt from Building Regulations?
Provided your conservatory meets the following requirements it will be exempt from having to make an application:
I would like to construct a detached garage, do I need to make an application to Building Control?
Provided your garage has an internal floor area under 30mē and is:
Where do I require an emergency egress window, what size does it need to be, and what height should it be above the floor level?
A new regulation introduced in October 2005 dictates that an emergency egress window is required to all first floor habitable rooms, all habitable inner rooms and all second floors that do not have an alternative means of escape. Other conditions may also apply, so please seek advice.
An egress window is required to have a minimum clear opening of 0.33m2 and minimum dimensions of 450mm high and 450mm wide. Care should be taken, as 450mm by 450mm will NOT meet the criteria.
The lower edge of the window opening should be located between 800mm – 1100mm above finished floor level. The egress window should preferably be side hung and the clear opening is measured between the face of the sash and the edge of the style/mullion.
Egress windows placed along the slope of the roof require to have the same size of clear opening but should not be located further up the slope of the roof than 1.7m to the bottom of the opening, and the cill of the opening should be located between 600mm – 1100mm above the finished floor level.
N.B. Other regulations may also impact on these works, such as the type of glass used and window-opening restrictors always seek advice.