Apply for new building works


There are two ways of making an application for new works, depending on the type of building in question:

If any of the following types of building work are to be done, you must submit a full plans application.

  • Where the building use was previously designated under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 or was subject to the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, as now controlled by the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform order 2005 and where the proposed work would adversely affect provisions for means of escape and / or access and facilities for the fire service
  • Work which includes the erection of a building fronting on to a private street
  • A new building or extension or underpinning of a building over or within 3 metres of the centre line of a public sewer (or any drain / sewer shown on the sewage undertakers map of sewers)

Submit your applications online (24 hours a day, 7 days a week): Submit-a-plan.

Full plans applications

To get formal approval before the work begins, you can submit a full plans application.

Decisions can take up to five weeks but are usually given much sooner.

Full details covering all aspects of your proposals should be submitted for approval by way of drawings / plans.

Once you have made a full plans submission you may submit a request building work inspection request 48 hours before the work starts.

In some cases we may need to consult the Fire Brigade to make sure that adequate fire precautions measures are provided.

When making a full plans application you should enclose the appropriate fee together with two copies of the drawings and if appropriate, structural calculations, giving full details of your proposals.

Where the building use is controlled by the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order 2005, an additional copy of plans showing fire precautions should be submitted.

We will acknowledge your application within three days, letting you know if for any reason it is incomplete and we will give you the name of the surveyor dealing with your project.

We will only reject your application if it shows major contraventions of the building regulations.

Wherever possible we will approve it, if necessary with conditions where we need additional information or if minor changes are needed.

If you or your agent disagree with our decision you have the right to appeal to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Full plans application

Building notice applications

This type of application is mainly intended for small scale domestic alterations.

You may submit a building notice application giving brief details of your proposal, with relevant drawings / plans.

Your application, fee and any block plan must all be submitted at least 48 hours before the work begins.

This procedure cannot be used for commercial premises which are subject to the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order 2005.

Building notice application

Site conditions and variations

With both types of application, particularly for building notices, there may be times where site conditions reveal unforeseen factors, which may lead to additional expenditure.

It is advised to make allowance for this in setting a budget for the project.

For straight forward construction, works necessary to satisfy building regulations should already have been taken account of by the builder and should not generally be subject to additional cost.

The most frequent source of additional costs are where trees have not been considered, by the architect / plan drawer and revised foundation details are required.

Please make sure any trees in the vicinity of your proposals are taken into account.

Private drains and sewers

It is also important to know where existing drains are around your property and also how these may be affected by the proposed work.

All drains serving more than one property are the responsibility of Northumbrian Water Ltd.

To alter or build over these drains you must get permission from Northumbrian Water.

For more information, visit Northumbrian Water.

Unauthorised works

Where unauthorised building works have been carried out, it may be possible for you to make a retrospective application.

Where the works were started within the preceding 12 months, the application should be in the form of a full plans application.

Where the works were started before that time and on or after 11 November 1985, an application may be made for a regularisation certificate.

This should be accompanied by plans detailing the work carried out and the relevant fee.

In each case it is likely that parts of the works will need to be uncovered or exposed in order to check for compliance with the relevant sections of the regulations.

We will advise you further on this point and on any further works  which may be required to secure compliance with the regulations following inspections of the works.

Once we are satisfied that the relevant regulations have been complied with we will issue you with a certificate.

How to report unauthorised works

If you suspect someone of carrying out unauthorised works, you can report it online.

Report unauthorised development

Data protection

If you are submitting information for building regulations and allied purposes you are advised that information you give us will be held on computer or manual record, which you have a right to see and check.

The information is used by the Council to fulfil its statutory obligations, may occasionally be used to get feedback on the building control service, and in connection with the prevention and detection of crime and fraud.

The Council also retain and archive a copy of the information submitted. Such archives are made available for inspection by persons with bona fide reasons, such as building owners and prospective purchasers. All legal obligations regarding copyright etc are observed.

For further information as to the availability of surveyors and inspection regime contact us.