Retrospective Building Regulations – A Comprehensive Guide

Retrospective Building Regulations

Retrospective building regulations cover building works that has already been completed without seeking planning approval from your local authority. This process involves submitting an application to your local authority for the building works to be retrospectively approved. If the application is approved, you will receive a Regularisation Certificate, which certifies that the work carries out has been approved by the local authority. You may need this if you plan to sell your property in the future.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about seeking retrospective approval for building regulations, from how to go about submitting your application to the potential risks involved with doing so.

What Is Retrospective Planning Permission?

Retrospective planning permission is the process of seeking approval for building works that have already been completed without first obtaining planning permission from your local authority. This can be a risky proposition, as there is no guarantee that the local authority will approve the works. If the application is refused, you may be required to undo the work, which could prove to be costly and time-consuming.

There are a number of reasons why you may need to seek retrospective planning permission. For example, you may have carried out building work without realising that you needed planning permission in the first place. Or, you may have been granted planning permission for one type of work but have carried out additional work that now needs to be approved.

What Are the Risks of Seeking Retrospective Planning Permission?

There are a number of risks involved in seeking retrospective planning permission. The first is that your application may be refused. If this happens, you may be required to undo the work, which could prove to be costly and time-consuming.

Another risk is that even if your application is approved, you may still face opposition from your neighbours. They may object to the work on the grounds that it is unsightly or disruptive, and they may make a formal complaint to the local authority. This could lead to the local authority taking enforcement action against you, which could result in you having to undo the work or pay a fine.

Finally, it is important to note that even if you are granted retrospective planning permission, this does not mean that the work will be up to standard. It is still your responsibility to ensure that the work meets all the relevant building regulations.

How to Submit a Retrospective Planning Permission Application

If you need to seek retrospective planning permission, you will need to submit an application to your local authority. The application process will vary depending on your local authority, but you can expect to fill out a form and submit it along with any supporting documentation.

The supporting documentation that you will need to submit depends on the type of work that has been carried out. For example, if you have built an extension, you will need to submit plans for the work. If you have carried out internal alterations, you will need to submit a schedule of works.

Once you have submitted your application, the local authority will carry out an assessment to determine whether or not the work requires planning permission. If the local authority decides that the work does not require planning permission, you will not be required to do anything further.

However, if the local authority decides that the work does require planning permission, you will be required to submit a full planning application. This process can take several months to complete, so it is important to be prepared for the possibility of a long wait.

Risks of Retrospective Planning Permission

How Far Back Can Building Regulations Be Enforced?

There is no time limit on how far back building regulations can be enforced. This means that even if you have carried out work many years ago, the local authority can still take enforcement action against you if the work does not meet the relevant standards.

However, it is important to note that building regulations are only enforced when there is a complaint. This means that if no one complains about the work, it is unlikely that the local authority will take any action.

What Are the Consequences of Not Following Building Regulations?

If you do not follow building regulations, you could face a number of consequences. The first is that the local authority could take enforcement action against you. This could result in you having to undo the work or pay a fine.

Another consequence is that your insurance company may refuse to pay out if you make a claim. This is because most insurance policies have a clause stating that the policyholder must comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Finally, if someone is injured as a result of the work, you could be liable for damages. This is why it is so important to ensure that the work meets all the relevant building regulations.

When Are Building Regulations Not Required?

There are some types of work which do not require planning permission. However, even if planning permission is not required, building regulations may still need to be followed.

Some of the types of work which do not require planning permission include:

  • Internal alterations, such as changing doorways or creating new rooms
  • Installing windows and doors
  • Laying a new floor
  • Putting up wall partitions
  • Decorating
  • Fitting a kitchen
  • Fitting a bathroom
  • Replacing roofing felt
  • Repairing guttering
  • Installing a satellite dish
  • Erecting a garden shed
  • Building a porch

How to Comply with Building Regulations

If you are carrying out work which requires planning permission, you will need to ensure that the work also complies with building regulations. The best way to do this is to submit a full planning application. This will ensure that the local authority is aware of the work and can assess it to ensure that it meets all the relevant standards.

If you are carrying out work which does not require planning permission, you should still check to see if building regulations apply. This is because some types of work, such as electrical work, always require a building regulations application.

If you are unsure whether or not your project requires planning permission or building regulations approval, you should contact the local authority for guidance.

When to Apply for Building Regulations Approval

You should apply for building regulations approval before you start the work. This is because the local authority will need to assess the plans for the work to ensure that it meets all the relevant standards.

If you do not apply for building regulations approval, you run the risk of the work not meeting the required standards. This could result in enforcement action being taken against you or the work being undone.

Can I Sell A House Without Building Regulations

Can I Sell A House Without Building Regulations?

If you are selling a house, you will be asked to provide a Building Regulations Certificate for any works that have been completed since the construction of the property. This is because the new owner of the property could still be prosecuted for lack of building regulations, even if they are not the person who carried out the works. For this reason, solicitors will always ask for a copy of the Building Regulations Certificate during the conveyancing process.

If you do not have a Building Regulations Certificate, you may be asked to take out an indemnity policy. This is a type of insurance policy which protects the new owner of the property against any claims which may arise as a result of the lack of building regulations.

Getting Building Regulations Approval

If you need to get building regulations approval, you will need to submit a full plans application or a building notice application to the local authority.

A full plans application is where you submit detailed plans of the work to the local authority for approval. This can be a time-consuming process, as the plans will need to be drawn up and submitted, and you will then need to wait for the local authority to assess them.

A building notice application is where you notify the local authority of the work that you intend to carry out. This is a simpler process, as you do not need to submit detailed plans. However, it can be more expensive, as the local authority will charge for each site visit.

Once the application has been submitted, the local authority will assess it to ensure that the work meets all the relevant standards. If the work does not meet the standards, the local authority may ask you to make changes or they may refuse the application.

Once the local authority has approved the plans, you will be able to start the work. Your Building Inspector will inspect the work at regular intervals to ensure that it meets the required standards for building control, and sign the work off once complete.

The Bottom Line

Seeking retrospective planning permission can be a risky proposition, as there is no guarantee that the local authority will approve the works. If the application is refused, you may be required to undo the work, which could prove to be costly and time-consuming. There are a number of risks involved in seeking retrospective planning permission, so it is important to weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

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