There are currently two methods of gaining Building Regulations approval, full plans submission and the Building Notice procedure.
The Building Notice procedure requires you to obtain the appropriate forms from the Local Authority. These must be completed with a detailed description of the proposed works and a fee for the full amount required to be paid at the time of submission. An Inspector will then be on site at key stages throughout the process to ensure that the building works are completed in accordance with the regulations.
The Full Plans process requires a set of detailed drawings to be produced and submitted to the Local Authority with a fee representing 25% of the total payable. The remainder will be due on completion. Of course, additional costs would be associated with the production of detailed drawings.
What is the best approach?
If you are proposing to build a simple small extension or carry out a minor alteration to a building then the Building Notice procedure is probably the best route. If you have a detailed knowledge of construction techniques and embark on a self-build project then this is also the case.
Large projects or complex and potentially costly works are best approached using the full plans procedure. This helps to ensure that the cost of construction is closer to your original estimates and provides a guide to construction for those with little or no experience in the industry.
As ever, you should consult your Local Authority who will be happy to provide advice on the subject.