Approval Process

There are two options when submitting an application for building works; a full plans application or a building notice application. Both of these types of application need to be submitted before you start work and the total fee for each is the same and is payable to the Surrey Heath Borough Council.

Full plans applications

The most common type of application we receive for building works is a full plans application. In this case, you as the building owner or your agent/architect submit an application with plans showing full a construction specification of the work together with any relevant structural calculations.

Using this route once we have checked your plans and are satisfied they meet the building regulations you will receive a formal decision on your plans known as an "approval notice".

You also have the added assurance that provided the works are carried out in accordance with the approval that a completion certificate will be issued to you once all the work is finished.

If you are completing a hard copy application form please do so in duplicate and attach two copies of the following:

  • Detailed plans, sections and elevations, including all technical notes, calculations and specifications.
  • A 1:1250 scale plan showing size and position of the building, or the building as extended in relation to adjoining boundaries and adjacent street (a 'block plan').
  • The plan fee.

If appropriate you should also submit a written estimate based on a commercial builder's costs (excluding VAT).

Building notice applications

A building notice is generally used for minor works such as removal of an internal load-bearing wall, where the person carrying out the work is familiar with current building regulations. One advantage is that it allows work to start 48 hours after submission of the application as there is no plan checking involved before work begins and therefore no approval notice is issued.

It cannot be used when the works will involve building over or within three meters of a public sewer (shown on the Thames Water map of sewers) or for works to commercial buildings.

If you are submitting a building notice you must feel confident that the work will comply with the current building regulations because when we inspect the work if it doesn't comply you run the risk of having to rectify this at your own expense.

An application form can be printed off or completed online. You should also include the following:

If the application is for a new building or an extension we will need a 1:1250 scale plan showing size and position of the building, or the building as extended in relation to adjoining boundaries and adjacent street (a 'block plan').

Starting work

All building work must be inspected by one of our building control surveyors at key stages. This is not only to ensure that the work meets the current building regulations, but it also provides an opportunity for us to offer timely advice or for contractors to raise any queries they may have.

Once we receive your completed application you will often be assigned a dedicated surveyor for your project who will provide continuity of service for both you and your builder.

Please see our section on Inspections for more information

Completion of work

It is very important that you contact your building control surveyor to arrange for a final inspection when all the work is complete.

Once we are satisfied that the work is complete a completion certificate can be issued to you for safekeeping.

This is an important document should you decide to sell or remortgage your property in the future. (We would also recommend that you obtain your completion certificate before making final payment to your builder.)