Got some questions?

Please see below a list of our most commonly asked questions

What are the Advantages of Local Authority Building Control?

The Local Authority Building Control Service amongst other things administer the Building Regulations by the passing of Plans and Checking of building works on site.

We are able to provide you with invaluable information and services such as;

  • Free pre-application advice on building works
  • Free 1 hour pre application site inspection
  • Local knowledge of your areas
  • Same day inspections for current building works applications
  • A technically experienced professional team.
  • A cost neutral service focused on customer service

What is the difference between Planning and Building Control?

Planning Permission looks at the appearance of a building or an extension to a building and how it relates its surroundings. Building Control uses the requirements of the Building Regulations to look at whether the building satisfies its functional requirements and provides reasonable health, safety, and comfort for the users of the building.

If you want to carry out building work, you may require both Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval. Planning and Building Control are separate; for example, if you get Building Regulations approval you are not guaranteed Planning Permission.

If a Building Regulations application is not required for proposed works, you must nevertheless ensure that you have checked whether Planning Permission or Listed Building consent is necessary. Useful guidance is available on the Planning Portal – ‘Do you need permission’ page

What do I need to do to gain Building Regulation Approval and what is involved in the process?

You will need to either submit an application;

  • Building Notice Application – usually for simple domestic works
  • Full Plans Application – more complex projects
  • Regularisation Certificate Application – where the works have already been carried out.

Whichever approach is taken, surveyors/engineers from the East Sussex Building Control Partnership team will carry out appropriate inspections to ensure the works in principal comply with the Building Regulations.

To obtain an application form go to Download Documents

Do I have to pay for the Building Control service?

A fee or charge is payable to the local authority unless the work is exempt from the Building Regulations. Fees can be viewed on the Schedule of Charges.

Please note that you may also have to pay a separate fee or charge for submitting an application for Planning Permission.

To make a card payment, please call our contact centre on 01323 443322 – Please have your application reference number to hand when making a payment.

What do the Building Regulations cover?

The Building Regulations cover a wide range of standards from structure to fire safety, drainage, sound insulation etc

What works are exempt from Building Control?

(Please not that this is not an exhaustive list and that other works may be exempt, this is just a list of our most common exemptions)

Some building works do not require building regulations if they comply with certain conditions. Some example of these are:-

Car Ports

  1. Under 30m2
  2. Open on at least 2 sides.

Small detached building under 15m2

  1. Under 15m2
  2. No sleeping accommodation

Detached building

  1. Under 30m2
  2. Minimum 1m from boundary or Constructed of non combustible materials
  3. No sleeping accommodation


  1. Under 30m2
  2. External quality doors from the main house
  3. Be on a separate heating/electrical system from the main house


If in doubt always check with the Building Control Service – Contact us

Why do I need Building Regulations Approval?

The following:-

  • You meet your statutory obligations and avoid the authority taking enforcement action against you
  • You have the peace of mind that someone independent of your builder and/or your designer is looking at your design and building works to ensure they meet minimum standards of health and safety
  • You gain from our local knowledge which will help in providing a  more sustainable building i.e. ensuring it is on the right foundations for the soil conditions
  • You or your builder will receive advice and help on how to comply with the Building Regulations standards during the construction process
  • You will receive a Completion Certificate at the end of the project (when the works have been satisfactorily completed). This is an important document that you will need when you come to sell your property as it will be evidence to perspective purchasers solicitors that the works have been completed satisfactorily

Note: If you are a business, the Completion Certificate will also provide evidence that you have complied with areas that overlap with other legislation i.e. Licensing, Fire Safety, Safety in the Work Place, Disability Discrimination Act

What types of works require Building Regulations Approval?

Where you erect a new building, or extend, internally alter or change the use of an existing building. This applies to all domestic, commercial and public buildings.

If in doubt, always check with the one of the East Sussex Building Control  Partnership team on 01892 602005, or email us at

Do I need an application for replacing windows, external doors or rooflights?

If the installer of the replacement windows is FENSA  or CERTAS registered you do not need to make an application.

If the installer is not registered with FENSA or CERTAS or if the property is non-domestic, you will need to make an application.

Can I submit a Planning Application and a Building Regulations Application at the same time?

Yes, although separate application forms and fees are required. In practice, when both Planning and Building Regulations applications are required for a proposed development, most applicants do not submit a Building Control Application until planning permission has been granted.

What can I do if I have carried out building works without making an application?

You can apply for a Regularisation Certificate if the works were carried out after  the 11th November 1985.

Submitting an application does not automatically lead to a certificate being issued. We may need some of the works exposed for inspection and additional measures to ensure that the works are safe.

To obtain an application form go to Download Documents

How can I obtain copies of Building Regulations Decision Notices or Completion Certificates?

Wealden District Council only produced Completion Certificates for applications made after 1994.  You can download copies of Decision Notices and Completion Certificates issued from January 2006 onwards from the Wealden website  and searching by application reference number or address.

Due to copyright, we cannot provide copies of plans, drawings, or any other information submitted with an application

Can I claim back VAT paid for a Building Regulations application charge?

Information about VAT refunds for DIY housebuilders  is available from HM Revenue and Customs.

When will I receive my Completion Certificate?

Once the works have been completed and we have made a satisfactory final inspection, we will issue you with a Completion Certificate.

How do I apply for a notice to build over a sewer?

Please contact Southern Water to see if a ‘building over’ notice is needed and to make an application if necessary.

How can we obtain copies of Building Regulations information and documentation for applications submitted before the creation of the partnerships?

If you are looking for documents prior to the creation of the partnership (Eastbourne Prior to April 2011 and Rother and Hastings Prior to April 2017) You will need to go back to the respective councils and obtain copies from them.

Please see below contact numbers for each council.

Rother District Council: Phone: 01424 787000

Hastings Borough Council: Phone: 01424 451066

Eastbourne Borough Council: Phone: 01323 410000

Do I need an application for erecting a conservatory or porch?

No, Provided certain criteria are satisfied, a Building Regulations application is not required.Generally, if the conservatory/porch is under 30m2 and is separated from the dwelling by external grade construction (windows, doors, walls, etc), any glazing is safety glass and any electrical work has been carried out by a suitably qualified electrician then the works would be exempt.

Do neighbours have the right to object to what is proposed in a Building Regulations application?

No, there is no requirement to notify neighbours of any proposed building works under the Building Regulations. However out of courtesy,we would always recommend advising your neighbours of the proposed works.

Do I need to notify Building Control if I am going to demolish all or part of a building?

Yes. Demolition is dealt with under The Building Act 1984, Section 80, and generally six weeks prior notice should be given to Building Control before the start of demolition works.

Do I need an application to build a garage or carport?

No, a Building Regulations application is not required provided the garage is detached, single storey, less than 30 square metres in internal floor area and either a metre or more from any boundary or constructed from non-combustible material, or if the carport or canopy is less than 30 square metres and open on at least two sides.

Do I need an application to carry out repairs to my house or flat?

No.If the repairs are minor or you are replacing like for like, you do not need to apply for Building Regulations.

How soon can I start work after submitting my application?

Legally you can start work two working days after submitting your Building Regulations application, but you must have advised us of your intention to start works before commencing on site.

At what stages of of work must I notify Building Control?

Commencement, excavations for foundations, foundations concreted, damp proof course, oversite preparation, drainage as laid (and before backfilling), drainage when on test, and completion or occupation.
We will also need to inspect other elements of construction, such as floor joists, roof timbers, beams and their bearings before they are covered up.

Still cant find what you’re looking for?

Feel free to contact us directly and we should be able to provide the answers you are looking for.