Make a Building Control application

Submit-a-Plan is the Local Authority Building Control National Portal for making electronic and offline Building Control applications.

  • It's free and easy to use
  • It makes form filling quicker
  • You can upload supporting documents easily

Apply online

Alternatively, you can complete a Building Control application form using the Planning Portal (within the Building Control Section).  You may have already used the Planning Portal to submit a planning application but Building Control is separate. Therefore, if the work requires Building Control approval, an application will be required

Not sure if you need approval? Visit our Do I need building regulations approval? page

For full details of charges, visit our Sussex Building Control fees and charges page

Apply by email

To apply to us by email, please complete the following steps:

What type of building regulations application do I need?

For domestic work there is a choice of building control application routes, Full Plans, Building Notice and Regularisation application for retrospective works.  Read on further information...

Full Plans

If you wish to have your plans checked and approved before the work starts, to avoid any costly errors and corrective work on site by not being fully up to speed with the ever changing regulations, we recommend choosing Full Plans.

A building  regulations application despotised under this procedure needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details, preferably well in advance of when work is to start on site.

We will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities.

If your plans comply with the building regulations, you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If we are not satisfied you may be asked to make amendments or provide more details. Alternatively, a conditional approval may be issued. This will either specify modifications which must be made to the plans; or will specify further plans which must be deposited to us.

If your plans are rejected the reasons will be stated in the notice. A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date of deposit of the plans.

Building Notice

If the work is uncomplicated and you are happy that you or your builder has a reasonably good understanding of the building regulations, then you can opt for a  building notice. The advantage of the building notice procedure is that detailed drawings are not formally required for approval, although some details such as structural calculations may be required. You may start work 48 hours after your notice has been received.

Plans are not required with this process so it’s quicker and less detailed than the full plans application. It is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small or basic work.

There are also specific exclusions in the regulations as to when building notices cannot be used in relation to domestic work, a building notice cannot be used:

  • For work which will be built close to or over the top of rain water and foul drains shown on the 'map of sewers'
  • Where a new building will front onto a private street

A 'building notice' is valid for three years from the date the notice was given to the local authority, after which it will automatically lapse if the building work has not commenced.

Regularisation Certificate

If the work has already recently started or possibly even been completed without proper consent, then we can receive it retrospectively - you will need to submit a Regularisation application.  However, it's best to contact us to discuss your individual circumstances initially before proceeding with the application process.

You can even use this if the work was carried out by a former owner. Any work can potentially be regularised as long as it was carried out after the 11 November 1985.

The purpose of the process is to regularise the unauthorised works and obtain a certificate of regularisation. Depending on the circumstances, exposure, removal and/or rectification of works may be necessary to establish compliance with the building regulations.

Further guidance for homeowners

Find more information on the LABC's website Front Door.

Read more on Front Door

What happens if I do not comply with building regulations?

The local authority needs to see that building work complies with regulations. Sometimes building work has been completed without the correct procedures being followed. This can cause problems when the property is sold.

If you or a previous owner carried out work without obtaining permission, you may be able to apply to have this approved retrospectively. This is called a Regularisation.  This is only possible for work carried out on or after the 11 November 1985. You’ll be asked for plans and calculations to show what was done and the work will be inspected. Please be aware that you may be asked to open up various areas of the building. This is so the surveyor can check things that have been covered up like beams, pipes and insulation. If everything appears to meet the regulations that were in place at the time the work was carried out, you’ll receive a Regularisation Certificate.

Regularisation Applications - additional information

Sometimes building work is undertaken without the appropriate approvals in place. When this happens, problems can arise later, often when the property is being sold. The Regularisation Application procedure allows the Local Authority to check the works undertaken. ‘Unauthorised Works’ are works started without a valid application. You can make an application for a regularisation certificate when:

  • The work commenced after 11 November 1985
  • The work came within the scope of Building Regulations
  • No valid application was made at the time the of the works

Regularisation Procedure

If unauthorised works are found this is a procedure that property owners may follow. An owner is under no obligation to make a regularisation application. Also, the council is under no obligation to accept it. You may find your house hard to sell without it. It is assumed that there is a reasonable level of co-operation between the applicant and us. To assess if the work complies with the Building Regulations, we usually ask the applicant to 'open up' or expose aspects of the work. This allows us to check on the construction used. You may need a builder to help with that. We may also ask for more information, this may include:

  • Plans, sections and details
  • Structural report and calculations
  • Any other information to establish compliance

Compliance is with The Building Regulations that were in force at the time of the building works. If the work does not comply, we will tell you what is non-compliant. We will try to offer advice on options that you have for resolving the issues. If this requires further works we will need to inspect certain stages of that work. For more involved or complex situations we may ask you to provide plans and information. This is to show how you are going to make the work comply before you do it. You may need to seek help from a qualified and experienced architectural practitioner, surveyor, structural engineer.

Issue of the Regularisation Certificate

Before a certificate can be issued we must be reasonably satisfied that the works comply with The Building Regulations. Also, that there is no risk to the health and safety of persons in or around the property.

Planning Approval

You are reminded that Building Regulations approval does not imply approval under the Town and Country Planning Act. You should always check whether a planning application is required.

Enforcement and Prosecution

Please see:

Application form and notes

Apply for a fee waiver due to Disability Declaration

You do not need to pay our fees if you are carrying out appropriate work for the benefit of a disabled person.

To request a Disability Declaration for your work, please download the application form and email to together with your Building Control application form.

Eligibility Criteria

We are able to offer fee remission through grounds of disability where the whole of the building work in question is solely:

1) for the purpose of providing means of access for the disabled person by way of entrance or exit to or from the dwelling or any part of it, or

2) for the purpose of providing accommodation or facilities (either new or adapted) within the building which are incapable of being used (or used without assistance) by the disabled person.

Examples of work which may be exempt can include the provision of a room extension which is or will be used solely:

  1. for the carrying out for the benefit of the disabled person of medical treatment which cannot reasonably be carried out in any other room in the dwelling, or
  2. for the storage of medical equipment for the use of the disabled person, or
  3. to provide necessary accommodation (bedroom) or facility (bathroom) that could not be used by the disabled person.
  4. persons by way of entrance or exit to or from the building or any part of it; or for the provision of facilities designed to secure the greater health, safety and welfare of disabled persons
  5. This also includes work to provide or extend a room which will be used for sleeping accommodation for a full time (i.e. 24 hours) carer.

Note: ‘disabled person’ means a person who is within any of the descriptions of persons to whom Section 29(1) of the National Assistance Act 1948, as extended by virtue of Section 8(2) of the Mental Health Act 1959, applied but disregarding the amendments made by paragraph 11 of Schedule 13 to the Children Act 1989. The words in section 8(2) of the Mental Health Act 1959 which extend the meaning of disabled person in section 29(1) of the National Assistance Act 1948, are prospectively repealed by the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, section 66(2), Schedule 10, as from a day to be appointed

The fact that the work is “building work solely required for disabled persons” needs to be demonstrated. It must be clear that the work is being carried out for the purpose of facilitating a person’s disability, regardless of whether others may also benefit from the work.

In order to be reasonably satisfied  Building Control will seek to be provided with one of the following proofs of disability:

a)  a copy of a Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) form from the Local Authority

b)  a copy of an Occupational Therapists (OT) report stating that the works proposed are required in order for the disabled person(s) to continue living within their existing dwelling.

c)  that the works are solely for the use of the disabled person(s). In some circumstances partial fee remission may be given in the event that part of a project relates solely but another part does not.