Making an Application

Work requiring an application

Anyone intending to carry out work to which Building Regulations apply must lodge an application with their local Building Control Office. Some examples of such work are:

  • Erecting a new building
  • Extending an existing building
  • Changing the use of a building (eg house to offices)
  • Converting a roofspace or garage
  • Carrying out structural alterations, for example:
    • Replacing existing walls, floors, roofs, stairs
    • Making two rooms into one
    • Removal of a chimney breast
    • Installing cavity wall insulation
    • Drylining walls or lining walls/ceilings with sheeting or boarding.
    • Replacing fire doors
  • Provision of services or fittings, for example:
    • Installation of central heating
    • Replacement/relining flues
    • Installation of new sanitary appliances (not replacement only)


There are works that are exempted from requiring an application. Some examples are:

  • certain porches, conservatories, open carports or covered areas being extensions not exceeding 5m square for a porch or 30m square for a conservatory
  • certain detached garages and single storey buildings not exceeding 30m^2 in area
  • certain sheds not exceeding 15m^2 in area
  • certain agricultural buildings; fences, garden walls, gates
  • certain greenhouses; replacement windows; replacement boilers and fireplaces; replacement sanitary fittings and drainage
  • certain buildings, used for the purpose of agriculture and for keeping animals
  • certain temporary buildings, which is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days

Before proceeding with any work, you should seek the advice of your local Building Control Office

What you must do

If an application is required, there is a choice of procedure:

(a) a full plans submission

(b) a building notice
(If you wish to submit a building notice see Building Notice procedure)

In either case you must lodge an application prior to starting work. You can be prosecuted for failing to do this.

A full plans submission requires you to complete a standard application form available from your local Building Control Office and to provide the following:

a) two copies of plans, sections, constructional details.

b) a site location plan and a block plan showing boundaries and adjacent buildings.

c) a plan fee (see Building Control Fees) and, where required, an estimate of cost.

d) for non-domestic work, a further two sets of plans showing compliance with fire safety regulations are required.

You should ensure that you use the services of an architect/agent or professional designer who has a good working knowledge of Building Regulations.

What we do

We will provide a pre-application consultation, should you require it. When you lodge the application we will assess it for compliance with the regulations within 28 days and either issue an approval or notify the agent of any required amendments. We will assess amendments within 14 days. You will then receive an approval notice and a set of approved drawings. If your plans are rejected for non-compliance with the regulations you have the right of appeal to the Department of the Environment. This must be made within 56 days of the date of the rejection notice.

Unauthorised work

If work is carried out without an application having been made you may be prosecuted. Furthermore, should you wish to sell your property the purchaser's solicitor will wish to see evidence of approvals. If these are not available it may delay or prevent the sale. Keep all approvals in a safe location preferably with the Deeds.

Your proposed works may require permission from the Planning Authority. More information may be obtained by contacting the Planning Office, Marlborough House, Central Way, Craigavon. Tel: (028) 3834 1144

If you think that your proposal will affect your neighbour in some way you should contact him/her before the submission is made so that all information is at hand before work begins.

If your house is listed then permission to carry out any sort of alteration should be obtained by contacting the Historic Monuments and Buildings branch of the Department of the Environment in Belfast. Tel: (028) 9023 5000