What’s the difference between a BUILDING NOTICE and a FULL PLANS BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATION, when looking carry out building works?

BONUS QUESTION: What are Building Regulation drawings then? Do I need them?
Working with a potential client recently and these questions came up, while the client was deliberating the way to proceed with development works on a small extension.

Cost is always a factor… So the client needed to know his options to determine how he dealt with RISK. The risk of getting the extension built correctly and to client’s requirements and the risk of making sure the job is priced competitively….
Before jumping too far ahead, what is the difference between a Building Notice and a Full Plans Application?
The first answer is… Full Plans Application is not the same a Planning Application! A regular misconception. One is for getting permission to extend and the other is getting permission for what the extension will be built of.

 
FULL PLANS APPLICATION;

This approach requires Building Regulation drawings or Construction drawings to be sent to the council for comment and approval. This can take up to 8 weeks to agree, prior to the works starting.
The benefit of this route is at the end of the 8 weeks , you get a stamp of approval meaning that the scheme can be built as drawn/ specified.

A BUILDING NOTICE;

The basic answer is that a Building Notice allows you to get on with the works within 48 hours of notifying the council, typically not needing detailed construction drawings. You pay your money to the local authority and the builder organises visits to inspect works as and when relevant.
Usually this approach is applied when the works are straight forward and simple in nature. A single storey extension for example.

So apart from the timing difference, what else matters?
Well, Building Regulation drawings are needed for a full plans application and not necessarily for a Building Notice. This is an extra cost, BUT you will effectively have drawings which show how the extension should be built and to what standard…. Consequently, the client can use the drawing to get comparative prices for the proposed works and then can use the drawing as a ‘contract drawing’ with the winning contractor.

Details are usually added to the drawing, more than just basic detailing… So that, the chimney you wanted to take out; the room to be re-decorated; the under stairs toilet you wanted, can all be included. The drawing acts as a way to ensure everything is included in the price.
The major plus here, is that you don’t have to rely on the price you have got as a lump sum from a contractor i.e if you did not have the Building Regulation drawing to work from… And you can make sure that when getting prices from various contractors, that they are pricing from the same ‘hymn sheet’ within reason.
This keeps prices in check and goes some way to avoiding the old phrase ‘that will be an extra’ from occurring! There is far more that I could go into, and hopefully the above helps understand the basic concepts.
I have not mentioned Private Building Control Officers; starting works early under a full plans application or the differences in cost…

If you have more questions, please call the Office where our firm of Chartered Surveyors will be happy to advise you further on any detail that may be of concern.
Until next time… Sheeley & Associates, taking the hard work out of your home work!

Sheeley Associates are party wall surveyors and chartered surveyors in London and Essex, specialising in surveying, party wall advice and other architectural services.

Loughton based chartered building surveyors, Sheeley Associates specialise in surveying, party wall advice, building project management and architectural services.

Sheeley Associates are chartered surveyors in London that provide London with a full surveying service. They specialise in all architectural services and can provide building project management and party wall advice.

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