Having been through full planning and Building Regulations for the
remodelling of the back of our house I am a little bemused over some
things that have emerged.
Firstly, after you have planning permission the role of the planners seems
to be complete. There is no inspection to confirm that whatever you have
done conforms to the plans submitted.
Building Regulations is a separate department - in fact a separate
business - and has no links to planning at all. They don't enforce
planning, just BR.
So the planners have no idea if the plans have been followed unless
someone (irate neighbour, usually) registers a complaint.
Secondly, BR do not (certainly in our case) do a final inspection to
confirm that all works have been completed to BR and all gas and
electrical work has been certified.
We know this because our certificate of completion turned up in the post
today - without anyone coming round to check that we had done everything
by the book.
Now in our case we did ensure regular inspections at key stages of the
build and we did follow the plans.
However if we hadn't, then who would know?
We have planning permission and BR sign off.
Makes you wonder how much all this process is worth, really.
On Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:08:20 AM UTC+1, David.WE.Roberts wrote:
We had a long building project that took three years (much longer than plan
ned for a number of reasons). The BR guys that came round spent half an hou
r here and spent half that time debating whether one particular door should
be a fire door. No interest in certificates etc. I think their primary con
cern was fire.
The most interesting thing to me was that there were a couple of details th
at the builder was worried about and they didn't even mention them.
So I think you're right.
Yup, unless someone complains that what you built is not what you got
permission to build, they probably have no further interest.
Normally they do. Often you need to book a completion / final visit with
your BCO. They will then "sign off" the finished works which will
trigger the sending of a completion certificate. Its possible though
that if they have seen what have seen what they need to see during the
build, they may not require a final visit.
How much interest they take with electrics will vary quite a bit.
If you had regular inspections during the work, then that is more than
adequate (in fact after the fact inspections are not really good enough
because much of the stuff that BCOs are interested in will have been
covered up by then)
You might have more difficulty getting your completion cert. Normally
they will tell you what stages of a build they want to see early on.
It will also depend a bit on what work was being done. For lots of
smaller jobs there is only limited scope to do stuff wrong enough for it
to be an issue!
Yup I get the impression there is a strong element of that as well -
once the BCO gets a feel for what the attitude of the builder is, it
goes a long way to how closely they feel they need to watch later.
On Thursday, 5 September 2013 10:44:35 UTC+1, John Rumm wrote:
My experience with planning (on a chapel conversion) was no problems at all
- almost a 'yes please!' attitude. I had however taken the trouble to read
all the relevant documents and do things in the right way.
With building control, I had a dismal architect that spent 9 months not get
ting the plans passed. I got rid of him, did the design over myself, and wi
th very minor revisions had the design passed.
Had a BC inspection to look at the below-ground structural concrete, and an
other inspection to look at the new timber-frame internal structure. Both v
isits about 5 minutes duration. After the second visit he said "All standar
d construction techniques - just call me back when it's finished".
At the final inspection whilst chatting he asked me what I did for a living
, and I said a professional engineer in the electronics industry - "won't n
eed to do an electrical inspection then". His only issues concerned protect
ion from falling and asked for more handrails and secondary window locks.
A survey is almost certainly not going to identify that BR hasn't been
followed because almost everything has been buried in concrete or behind
After a few years certificates are also not going to be asked for.
The surveyor will add caveats like "without a full electrical.." "without
a full gas..." "without a full drainage..."
Much like an MOT, a certificate states that everything is fine on the date
of the signing of the certificate.
After a few years almost anything could have been done to modify the
If there is something noticeably wrong, and it transpires that work was
done without building control approval (say a loft conversion without
appropriate structural work on the floor, or adequate fire protection),
then yes, that will be a problem.
If on the other hand what is there looks like it was done right, and as
been standing for 30 years since completion, its less likely to be an
Deeds of the house?????
So last century - deeds are no longer required.
BR certificates are not usually deposited with the Land Registry.
Please note from the original post that we have a final certificate
without a final inspection.
If you are selling 10 years after the work, then the certificates aren't
worth much because almost anything could have been done in those 10 years.
Anyone buying should have the plumbing, wiring etc. checked anyway - they
shouldn't rely on a certificate issued several years ago to outdated
Yup, I would go along with that. When I bought our current place, it had
had a loft conversion done some 20 years previous - all under LABC
oversight, but there was no completion cert. It was a non issue for all
concerned. As to plumbing etc, I gave instructions to the surveyor to
ignore plumbing, & electrics altogether, and just report on stuff that
was non obvious.
When I sold up in 2008 the standard form had a question about electrics and I
answered it honestly on the lines of "numerous alterations over the last few
years; no approvals obtained" and no query was raised. Given the standard of
work the purchaser would have needed to spend £££ to bring the installation
down to a normal professional standard :).
For the boiler, again self-installed, I obtained a Landlord's Safety
Certificate before putting the property on the market - personally I think it
would be a worthwhile (unlike Part P) safety improvement to make this
mandatory on all home sales. As for the EPC, the inspector said it was the
first non new-build he'd looked at that got rated as C.
Tony Bryer, Greentram: 'Software to build on',
Melbourne, Australia www.greentram.com
[Default] On 5 Sep 2013 09:08:20 GMT, a certain chimpanzee,
IMHO, Planning is all about the Permission. The plans they approve are
what you have permission for; if you don't build it as per the plans,
you ain't got permission. W/ BC, OTOH, the plans are a means to an
end; getting it to comply on site is the important bit.
Not a separate 'business', but a separate department (except where it
isn't). Except that they have their legislation to deal with, and we
I know of some BC sections that do do some planning enforcement, but
Occasionally Building Control talk to planners (and vice versa).
Sometimes when there's a complaint, planners will compare their plans
w/ BC, or ask the BCO if it is (was) built as per the permission.
Normally they do a completion inspection. I know of one authority
locally to me that's short of staff that doesn't, but it's usually the
Sometimes if the work was virtually complete on the previous
inspection (a bit of flashing or an extract fan to go in, etc.), or
there's nothing that could be seen on a completion inspection (e.g., a
knock-through), then I'll issue a completion cert when the owner tells
me it's complete.
Gas isn't covered by the Building Regs (yet), and electrics are
hopefully installed by a Part P electrician so BC can wash their hands
of it, so these aren't 'inspections' as such.
I couldn't possibly comment.
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
On Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:08:20 AM UTC+1, David.WE.Roberts wrote:
Planning is a much abused area.
As said, it comes down to if someone complains - and then you CAN be in a r
ight mess. Classic is ridge height or size, and the big ticket developers D
O drive a coach and horses through since most neighbours do not notice or c
are much. Some however in actually very nice areas will bite, first you kno
w is surveyors turning up to check against your plans.
BR generally focus on Fire, Fire, Foundations, Foundations, Fire (did I men
tion it?), Lintels etc. Basically they eyeball whether the build is dumb-as
s or following good form - eg, insulation clips wrong so the insulation is
not tight against the inner leaf or incorrect air gap from insulation to th
e outer leaf. Prescott got us a bit sidetracked off his flat world.
The downside is, of course, just because BR ticked the box does NOT mean th
e foundations are correct and so on. Frankly this should have had insurance
backing at some point as a national scheme - put fees up £50 say.
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