- Planning Overview
- Building Control
- Planning Applications
We will carry out various site inspections depending on the type of the works to determine that the construction is being built in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Before works commence you or your builder are advised to check for any conditions that may have been set out on your Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval - it is important to avoid future problems that all conditions (where applicable) are complied with.
Should the works on site deviate in any way from the details shown in the Planning Permission, you must discuss these as soon as is possible with our Planning Officer to avoid problems occurring.
What do I do now?
At least 48 hours before you start work on site you should notify us of commencement. Further site visits can be arranged by contacting us on the day the inspection is required before 10.30am weekdays (in normal circumstances) although more notice is preferable.
You can book a site inspection using our E-form (see Related Links below) and by telephone, fax, letter, email or in person at our offices or you can book a site inspection using the online form in Related Links below.
Please quote the application number when booking a site inspection i.e. BR, BW, BN, RG followed by the year of application 00, 01 etc, followed by the five digit number of the application, for example BR/02/0978.
Your Building Control Officer will visit the site once works have started and discuss the further inspections that have to be made. It is you or your builder's responsibility to notify us once the stages listed below are reached to enable an inspection to be carried out.
After our first inspection the applicant will be invoiced for a one-off inspection charge, which covers all subsequent inspections made during the course of the works, unless you submitted a Building Notice or Regularisation application when the inspection fee is paid at the time of application.
When you receive the invoice you can pay your inspection fee online. Remember to select "invoice payments" and insert your "account number" in the reference field. Please note all charges include VAT.
For most domestic new build or extensions a number of inspections will be made as set out below.:-
1. Commencement of work (statutory)
This is an opportunity for the Building Control Officer to generally discuss the project and to remind the builder of any conditions there might be on the application. It also provided the opportunity to check that the site and the proposal is as shown on any submitted plans.
2. Excavations before concrete (statutory)
This inspection allows ground conditions to be checked and the Building Control Officer to consider all or some of the following:
- The bearing capacity of the ground
- Proximity and depth of any drains and manholes
- Depth of existing foundation
- Proximity of any trees or recently removed trees
- Whether or not the building is on made up ground
3. Preparation of oversite (statutory)
This inspection is to determine the suitability of the hardcore used, and the provision of sand blinding (if required). The damp proof membrane (dpm) is also checked for its thickness, and sufficient overlaps with new and existing damp proof courses. The floor insulation may also be inspected at this stage.
4. Damp proof course (statutory)
The damp proof course (dpc) will be checked to ensure suitability, width, overlaps etc.
5. Drains - foul and storm (statutory)
All new drainage is inspected prior to covering. The items checked on this inspection include:
- Suitability of material used
- Fall and line of the drain
- Material used for bed and surround
- Access points
6. Drains test (statutory)
Wherever possible the above and below ground drainage systems will be checked for air or water tightness.
7. First floor joists.
The size, grade and the centres of the joists will be checked together with the lateral restraint strapping and herringbone strutting.
8. Roof members
The size, grade and the centres of the timbers/ trusses will be checked together with the lateral resistant strapping, herringbone strutting and wind bracing.
We will generally try to inspect the insulation prior to covering to ensure that the correct thickness and type has been installed.
10. Occupation (statutory)
When a building is occupied before completion the Local Authority should be notified.
11. Completion (statutory)
This is the inspection for which notification is often forgotten. The inspection checks such items as:
- Ventilation to rooms and roof voids
- Waste details
- Roof coverings
- Fire precautions and requirements
- Safety glazing
- Staircase details
On the satisfactory completion of the building work a completion certificate will be issued. Completion certificates are important documents which should be kept safe because they may need to be presented to financial institutions, solicitors, surveyors etc when moving house or seeking loans.
Finally, we would strongly recommend that before you make any final payment to your builder, you ensure that the work has been inspected and approved by this office and a completion certificate has been issued.
For further information please refer to our frequently asked questions.
Health and Safety Advice
If you are having construction or refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well. Find out more in the related links below.
Considerate Constructors Scheme
Started in 1997, this important initiative operates voluntary Site and Company Codes of Considerate Practice, with which participating construction companies and sites register.
The Scheme is a non profit making, independent organisation founded by the industry to improve its image. The Scheme is neither grant maintained nor funded by the Government and is solely financed by its registrations.
There are two ways in which companies can sign up to the Scheme: Site Registration or Company Registration.
Allow for registering the site or company with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, including the appropriate fee, and for using best endeavours to comply with the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice.
Building Control and Environmental Protection
Building Control Officers inspect many of the building works carried out in the Borough and have the responsibility for enforcing the Building Regulations. Part C of the Regulations refers to developments on or near contaminated sites and Building Control Officers work closely with the Contaminated Land Unit to identify possible contamination at an early stage of the development.
Where a site is identified as being on or near a contaminated site it may be necessary to provide reasonable precautions to prevent hazardous materials or gases from damaging or entering the building and you may be required to carry out soil surveys or site assessments to ensure contamination will not pose a problem.
If contamination is identified at any development or you think that contamination may be a problem you can call our Contaminated Land Unit 0n 01702 318047 to obtain advice on the appropriate investigation and remedial measures necessary.