How long it takes to get building regulations approval and how long it lasts
There are two types of building regulations application:
- Full plans application: Full details of the proposed building works are submitted for approval before the works are carried out.
- Building notice application: A building inspector will approve the works as they are carried out by a process of inspection.
 Full plans application
A decision should be received within 5 weeks for a full plans application. However, this may be extended to 2 months by agreement. It is necessary then to give the building control body two working days notice before commencing the works.
It is permissible to begin works before approval has been received, however, if the works are subsequently found not to comply with the building regulations, they may have to be altered or removed.
The approval lasts for three years, within which time the building work must commence, or a fresh application will be required. This can be very important given the speed at which the regulations change, meaning that a building which has been approved, but construction has not begun, may need to be re-designed to satisfy the new regulations.
A completion certificate should be received within 8 weeks of completion of the building work if it complies with the regulations.
 Building notice application
Works under a building notice application may begin as soon as the notice has been accepted. This is usually within 2 days.
The notice is valid for three years, after which it will lapse if the building work has not commenced. Once the works have commenced, the notice lasts indefinitely.
No completion certificate is issued as no plans have been submitted.
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