Building Notice is more suitable for smaller and
perhaps more basic projects, where detail may not be required by building
control before construction. This could include works such as small extensions,
where there may not be a need to submit a full plans application. Money and
time can be saved on issuing a building notice rather than spending time on
producing all information to submit to Building Control through a full plans
A full plans application will
generally be used for larger and more complex developments where it is
necessary to gain approval based on the development’s plans. This will save on
time and therefore money in not having to make alterations to the design during
the construction works. Where you have been given a confirmation that the work
complies, on-site building control inspections during the construction should
With Building Notice, there is risk
in not gaining approval based on the building design before construction work
is started, meaning if work does not comply, changes may need to be made to
works already carried out. This could result in delay of completion and an
increase in cost.
Giving a Building Notice does not
involve having to provide plans, and is a quicker and less detailed process. It
enables a project to begin quickly and will rely on on-site building
inspections by the local authority to check that work produced complies with
the building regulations. In some circumstances, Building Notices cannot be
used, such as work that specifically relates to the Regulatory Reform Fire
Safety Order 2005 which covers general fire safety in England and Wales. You
will also be unable to apply using a Building Notice for work built over or
close to sewers and for buildings that front a private street (Planning Portal,
Submitting a Full Plans application
to the local authority involves producing all the relevant plans and showing
detailed information on the development, including construction details. Depending
on the complexity of the development it may include a greater amount of
information such as structural calculations and a detailed specification on
fire and environmental strategies. This provides the Building Control Service
under the local authority with the information they need to assess the scheme
and consult any necessary authorities to ensure that the work complies. This
process generally takes up to around 5-8 weeks to come to a decision regarding
the application. If granted approval, you will be provided with a notice,
however if it is not deemed to satisfy building control, then conditional
approval may be issued. This would involve having to make amendments to the
plans or provide greater detail.
When undertaking most building work
you will have to gain approval under the Building Regulations. The 2 methods in
which you can apply for approval is through submitting a Full Plans Application
or Building Notice.
Define and explain the 2 forms of application processes that can be made
for approval under the Building Regulations and the precise circumstances under
which each may apply
Finally, internal alteration works to
an existing building would need to comply with Part R (Physical Infrastructure
for High Speed Electronic Communications Network) which covers all in-building physical
infrastructure regarding major renovation works to both existing and new
building. This physical infrastructure includes telephone and network
connections within the building which may be relevant with these works.
Approved Document Q, looks at the
Security of a building, and would not need to be considered when undertaking
these works as its focus is on external building elements such as doors and
Any works involving the electrical
installation of a building or any other works that may affect the electrical
systems must be safely carried out and to the standards set out in Approved
Document P: Electrical Safety. The works must also be carried out by someone
who is certified to do so.
Access to and use of buildings is
covered within Approved Document M. This may need to be complied with where
internal circulation routes are being modified such as communal corridors and
stairs. Wheelchair usability is also important to consider when completing
internal alteration works, covered within this document.
Within Approved Document L, only Part
L1B and L2B would need to be considered as Parts L1A and L2A apply to the Conservation
of Fuel and Power in new buildings rather than existing.
Approved Document K covers Protection
from falling, collision and impact. The works must comply with all sections of
Document K except from K3 (Vehicle barriers and loading bays) which would not
be applicable to internal alteration works. Sections K1, K2, K4, K5 and K6 of
approved document K would apply to internal alteration work as this may involve
changes to stairs and other balustrading and/or glazing within the building,
stopping the risk of falling.
The work may have to comply with all
parts of Approved Document J covering Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage
Systems. This is if the internal alteration work relates to the boiler system
or any other combustion system such as a fire place.
H6: Solid Waste Stores, would need to
be considered within the works and must comply. This is because it can relate,
for example, to internal bin stores within a large residential development or commercial
In Part H5: Separate Systems of Drainage, it looks at
setting up the drainage of rainwater separately to that discharging foul water
from the building. It only applies to the extension or erection of a building
and therefore does not need to be considered when undertaking internal works to
an existing building, (HM Government, page 51-52).
H2: Wastewater treatment systems and
cesspools would not apply to these works, relating to the external works of the
building. It therefore would not need to comply with this part of Doc H as well
as H3 (Rainwater Drainage) and H4 (Building over Sewers). If the building has
already been built, it should have already been built away from a sewer.
H1: Foul Water drainage – this
document would apply when altering bathrooms or kitchens within the building in
both residential and commercial buildings.
When looking at Approved Document H:
Drainage and waste disposal, specific sections will need to be complied to.
Approved Document G looks at
sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency. Every section under Approved
Doc G could apply to internal alteration works if they involved changing or
replacing bathrooms and kitchens within the building.
This is also the case for Approved
Document F where the works must comply with the ventilation standards set out.
This will apply where the internal alteration works may involve the
installation or modification of a mechanical ventilation system in place.
The works must comply with Approved
Document E when dealing with resistance to sound. When completing the internal
alteration work, it should not decrease the protection against sound from other
parts of the building and adjoining building in document E1. If certain parts
of the building internally are being demolished, it could affect the acoustic
properties of the building. Document E2, E3 and E4 must also be considered in
gaining building regulations consent for internal alteration works to an
Site Preparation and Resistance to
contaminants and moisture in Approved Document C is very unlikely to apply to
internal alteration works to an existing building.
The works must comply to Document B,
dealing with Fire Safety, including Document B1, B2, B3 and B5 which look at
the internal fire spread of the building and also access and means or warning
and escape. Document B4 covers external fire spread which, when completing
internal alteration work, will not need to be considered.
Internal alterations to an existing
building may require you to comply with approved document A, which looks at the
structure of the building. If internal walls are demolished or altered, this
will mean having to ensure the work is completed to the standards set out in
Approved Document A1 (loading) and A3 (Disproportionate collapse). The works
would not need to comply with Document A2 (Disproportionate Collapse) as this
would only apply to new building developments or alteration to the external
envelope of the building.
The Building Regulations are put in
place to maintain work is complete to a minimum standard to ensure the health
and safety of people using the building. Approved documents were produced to
set out guidance in how to comply with the building regulations. The building
regulations cover the construction and extension of buildings, but also applies
when you are doing internal alteration work. The specific approved documents that
the work must comply depends on the type of internal alteration work being completed.
Each approved document covers an aspect of work and if any material alterations
affect that aspect then it will have to comply. The works need to also make
sure it does ‘not make other fabric, services, and fittings less compliant than
they were before’ (Planning Portal, 2017) and therefore possibly more
In undertaking internal alteration work to an existing building, clearly
define and explain with which Specific Parts (Approved Documents) of the Building
Regulations the work must comply and for which consent must be sought.
3.0 Building Regulations:
Communication with everyone involved
in the pre-construction phase is vastly important, making sure that the work
has been coordinated where essential. Not only does the Principal Designer have
a responsibility to assist other designers involved in the pre-construction
phase, but must also provide sufficient information to the Principal Contractor
in their own duties under CDM Protocol. This will make sure risks that could
occur during the construction phase have been flagged to the Principal
The obligations of the Principal
Designer under the CDM Protocol are to ensure steps have been taken to get rid
of foreseeable risks to health and safety when making design decisions, alongside
the rest of the design team. This includes the health and safety of people
involved in the construction of the building, in maintaining and cleaning the
building and people using the building each day. Other obligations are taking
into account relevant information that may affect the design throughout the
project like an existing health and safety file. They must also help the client
in bringing together pre construction information which advises the design team
and provides them with the adequate information needed in order to complete
their duties, (Health and Safety Executive, 2015).
The principal designer is appointed
by the client to manage and take control over the pre-construction phase,
overlooking multiple contractors and consultants on a project. Something that
has been changed by the CDM 2015 regulations is the role of the Principal
Designer, which now also covers the job of coordinating the pre-construction health
and safety. This used to be undertaken by a dedicated CDM co-ordinator (Designing
Buildings, 2015). The change now allows the role to be undertaken by someone
who has greater influence on the design of the development, which can help to
reduce and eliminate risk earlier in the project.
Clearly define and explain the role and obligations of the Principal
Designer under the CDM Protocol
communicate with workers and gain feedback on other possible health and safety
have the right information about the health and safety risks
work to cooperate and coordinate
correct people are in the correct position at the right time
sensible plan of work to control risks throughout the project
Principles of prevention are set out
by HSE (Health and Safety Executive, 2015) where it is stated that you should
Ensuring Health and Safety is
integrated within management of the project is an aim within the CDM
Regulations 2015, to ensure that all people involved on the project take on a
responsibility to work together to achieve common goals/targets. That includes
designers, principal designers, principal contractors and contractors, encouraging
them to take ownership over the principles in carrying out their duties. These
common goals are to improve planning and management of the project from the
outset, helping to identify hazards early. By putting health and safety to the
forefront of the project, it enables the elimination or reduction of risk in
the design before management of risks need to be put in place.
The main purpose of the CDM
Regulations 2015 is to ensure the safety both of the construction workers, and
the people that will be using the building after completion of the works. People
using the surrounding site whilst work is ongoing are also to be considered
carefully, where there may be risk to people walking past during the works.
What are the aims and purpose of the CDM Regulations 2015?
2.0 Construction (Design and
Management) Regulations 2015:
Therefore the relevance of Section
106 Agreements on planning consent is that obligations under planning ensure
the development becomes acceptable (if followed). In controlling the terms by
which a scheme is granted planning consent, the authority can ensure the
developer contributes towards improving the local infrastructure, specifically
where the development has a large impact. If the obligations set out in a Section
106 Agreement are not complied with or are breached, the authority can enforce
the action on the developer or recover expenses.
Planning obligations are like
planning conditions. The terms must be relevant to planning and relate
specifically to the development submitted to planning. They are generally used
to limit occupancy of land and buildings or ‘require
specific operations or activities to be carried out in/on/under/over the land’ (Local
Government Association, 2017). Section 106 Agreements may also ensure provision
of affordable housing (dictating the land use) or even specify a sum of money
that must be paid by the developer to the local authority. In the case of
financial contributions to be made to the authority.
A Section 106 Agreement is a mechanism
which puts in place planning obligations that enable a proposed development to
be granted planning approval, where it otherwise would not. It is therefore
used as a way to control the development and restrict its impact on the
What is a ‘Section 106 Agreement’ and explain its relevance to a Planning
It will therefore provide evidence
that the process of design has been fully explored and can touch on further
topics like energy performance, especially when relating to standards like
Lifetime Homes for example. The statement must also show that access has been
considered and that any possible issues to access within the scheme have been
addressed. Any issues and their solutions considering access would be highlighted,
demonstrating that careful thought has been taken to ensure all people,
disabled or not, have adequate and safe access to the proposed development. It
does not just cover access by people, but also in how the site responds to
vehicular road layouts and transport links (CABE, 2007, pg.7). This could cover
site landscaping to create an environment that aids access as well as even
crime, to provide a safe environment for people using the building and its
Generally this statement should start
with a background of the planning application and illustrate points with
images, photos and diagrams to help the planners understand the ideas behind
the scheme. A Design and Access Statement will also be proportionate to the
application in its size and complexity. Where a small and basic development is
under planning, the statement may not need to be so long and detailed unlike
when a larger and more complex development is under consideration.
The purpose of the Design and Access
Statement is to demonstrate how a newly proposed development fits in with its
context and is suitable for the area it’s situated. It accompanies a planning
application and generally covers the two main topics of ‘Design’ and ‘Access’.
This is required in most cases, specifically if the project applies to a listed
building or is in a conservation area of greater sensitivity and where planning
policies are stricter. Design and Access statements however are not required in
‘applications for waste development, material change of use, engineering or
mining operations’ (Planning Portal, 2017).
What is the purpose and composition of the Design and Access Statement?