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Changes to building control regulations

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Changes to building control regulations

Building Regulations changed on the 1 October 2023, along with the implementation of the Building Safety Act 2022. Any building work that requires Building Regulations will now need to include the new Duty Holder Regime by law. 

New requirements 

The new regime adds requirements for applicants, agents, and builders. 

  • the applicant is now referred to as the ‘Client' (this includes 'Domestic Clients') 
  • an agent is now referred to as the ‘Principal Designer’ 
  • a builder is now referred to as the ‘Principal Contractor’ 
  • it is the Client’s responsibility to appoint a Principal Contractor and Principal Designer.  

Why it has changed 

The aim is to ensure that duty holders are identified at each stage in a building project, and their roles, responsibilities and expectations are clear. This will make sure Clients can consider and demonstrate how the building work will meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.  

The Client, Principal Designer and Principal Contractor all have overall responsibility to show compliance with the Building Regulations. This applies to all types of Building Regulation applications. This has always been the case, but it is now set down in legislation.  

Building Control acts as the Regulator and Building Control Inspectors cannot advise on any elements of the design or construction methods of the development. 

Changes to submitting an application 

We are updating application forms with extra questions. 

  • When the person completing the application form is not the Client (for example, the Principal Designer), we need the name, address, telephone number and, if available, a contact email address for the Client. 
  • If known at the date of the application, we need the name, address, telephone number, and contact email address for the Principal Contractor (or sole contractor) and the Principal Designer (or sole or lead designer). 
  • We need confirmation that the building is subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) or it will apply after building work is finished. The RRO applies to all buildings other than private dwellings. 
  • Where the project is works to an existing building, we need a full description of the existing building, which now includes:  
  1. details of the current and proposed use of the building and or individual storeys of the building 
  2. the height of the building before and after building work has taken place - the height is measured from the lowest external ground level to height of the highest floor level and aligns with the definition given in Approved Document B 
  3. the number of storeys in the building, both before and after building work has taken place (as determined in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023 
  4. a proposed date when the works will reach the point when it is to be regarded as commenced, in accordance with regulation 46A (lapse of building control approval: commencement of work) - see 'Starting work and Notice of Commencement' below. 
  5. where the application is made by someone on behalf of the Client, you must include a statement, signed by the Client, confirming they agree to the application being made and that the information contained in the application is correct. 

Starting work and Notice of Commencement 

You must notify Building Control when you start work on-site so that we can carry out necessary inspections ('Start of work stage'). 

There is now an extra stage where you must notify Building Control. This is the 'deemed commenced stage'. We will give you a template for this notice when you register your application. 

When works are deemed commenced 

  • Complex buildings: Foundations are constructed, and the structure of the lowest floor level is complete.  

  • New buildings and horizontal extensions: Sub-surface structure of the building or the extension, including all foundations and the structure of the ground floor level, is completed.  

  • All other works: Constructed 15% of the overall work. 

Notice of completion 

You must submit a notice of completion to us within five days of you completing the work. We will give you a template for this notice after you register your application. 

We can't issue a completion certificate until we receive a notice of completion, signed by all parties. 

The notice of completion needs: 

  • the name, address, telephone number and email address of the Client, Principal Contractor, and Principal Designer 
  • a signed statement from the Client to say that the works have been completed and comply with all the applicable regulations to the best of their knowledge. 
  • a statement from the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer to confirm they have fulfilled their duties under Part 2A (duty holders and competence). You can find the duties for this in the Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023

For buildings subject to the Fire Safety Order, the Client must submit the same notice, but within five days of occupation, and it must also include: 

  • the date when the building (or any part of it) is occupied 

  • a signed statement confirming that to the best of their knowledge, the parts of the building that will be occupied all comply with Regulation 38 and Part B of Schedule 1.