Why is building control important?
We apply standards in:
- energy efficiency
- accessibility (ease of use, particularly for wheelchair users).
Our surveyors protect the health and safety of people in and around buildings by making sure that you follow the law during the building process.
Do I need building control approval?
You can find out about the types of work which need building control approval and those which don’t on the Planning Portal
website. The Planning Portal also has information about work to or near shared walls
If you start building without approval, you might:
- put the health and safety of the people in the property at risk
- have to do expensive alterations or demolish the work later
- have to go to court and receive a fine
- have problems in the future when you try to sell the property.
Applying for building control approval
If you need to apply for approval you can do this using Submitaplan
or use our online form below.
There is a fee for all building control applications. See the Fees
Types of application
You can use this application for any type of work to any type of building, for example:
- new buildings
- loft conversions
- change of use of the building
- commercial buildings.
If you need to build over or close to a public sewer, you will need to make a full planning application. You will also need to make a 'build-over' application to Thames Water
With your full plans application, you need to send:
- plans of the building you want to build, drawn to scale (two copies)
- specifications such as building notes
- structural calculations such as those for loading
- a plan of the location of the building, drawn to scale
- the fee.
We will make a decision within five weeks of receiving your application, or within two months by agreement (see online application form). But we try to check your plans and reply with comments within ten working days.
If you are building or making changes to a workplace such as a:
- public building.
we will need four copies of the plans.
A building notice is for minor building works such as:
- removing a chimney breast
- re-covering a roof
- installing or altering a kitchen, toilet or bathroom which includes drainage (if you are not sure whether you need approval, contact us)
- converting an attached garage into a living area
- knocking down a wall
- replacing windows (unless you are self-certifying)
- building an extension
- building or extending a basement
- putting in cavity insulation (unless you are self-certifying).
If you plan to build an extension, you will need to provide a location plan, drawn to scale (not less than 1:1250), which shows the building and boundaries.
If you want to build an extension over a sewer you need to make a full plans application. A building notice is not suitable.
You can start work two working days after we receive your application. You need to tell us when you want to start work, and you can do this by phone or email.
Building notice applications do not give you the same protection as full plans application. You, or the person doing the work, must have a good knowledge of building and know the building regulations.
To download an application form, go to our Building control applications forms
If you make a change to or extend a building without approval it could cause problems when you come to sell it.
‘Regularisation’ is a way to get approval for work already done, by checking that the work is of a good standard.
We can do this for building work done after 11 November 1985. The work must meet the standards that were current at the time when you did the building work.
You must send the right fee with your application.
We will inspect the work and may tell you to open it up so that we can see that it is up to standard.
When we receive your application we will decide whether to give you a regularisation certificate. Sending the form does not mean that you automatically get a certificate.
If you want more information on making an application, call the duty officer on 020 3373 8200 between 9 and 10.30am, Monday to Friday.
Service plans for building inspections
Site inspections are an important part of making sure that you meet safety standards. For the latest inspection service plans, go to the Local Authority Building Control
Fees for building control applications
If you have a question about fees or you want to make a payment on the phone, please call 020 3373 1235.
If you want to pay by cheque, make sure you write the site address clearly on the back of the cheque and send it to us at the address above.
Choosing a builder
If you plan to use a builder for any work on your property, it is important to think about your choice very carefully. Thoroughly check any builders before using them.
For large projects, think about using an independent professional such as an architect, surveyor or building engineer to advise you. We cannot help you with this choice, but before employing a builder think about the following points.
- Talk to your professional adviser about the extent of your contract with the builder.
- Does it include the preparation of plans only or is supervision of the site included?
- If you think your project is too small to need a professional, get advice from someone within the building industry who you know and trust.
- Remember that we are always available to give you advice. You can ring the duty officer on 020 3373 8200, between 9 and 10.30am Monday to Friday.
- For help finding a builder, go to the Federation of Master Builders’ Find-a-builder website.
Points to remember when starting a building project
Always get quotations (at least three) and ask your professional adviser to check them. And don't always go for the cheapest quote.
Ask the builder these questions.
- Are you happy to use the new Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) building contract for home owners / occupiers?
- Where have you worked before?
- Are you happy for me to see your previous work?
- Can you supply references from satisfied clients?
- What is your experience in this kind of project ?
- How do you want to be paid, when you finish or in stages?
- Will you give me a finish date?
- Will you accept a penalty clause on failure to complete on time?
- Will you agree to me writing a letter of agreement covering the main points of the job, including: work to be done; agreed price; start and finish dates and payment methods?
- Will you agree to arbitration if I have any dispute? (Arbitration is the judging of a dispute by someone not involved in it.)
And check out the builder's work, references and other things, such as working habits, with previous clients.
Ask questions now; don't wait until it's too late.
Find out about a property’s history
You can find out about the history of a property and other building control information from our Public Access
When you don’t need building control approval
Newham Building Control
We offer a friendly, high-quality and cost-effective service. And we have experience in:
- building construction
- structural and civil engineering
- fire safety and fire engineering
- drainage and sanitation
- access and facilities for people with disabilities
- energy conservation
- public safety.
- Westfield Stratford City
- Icona Point
- London 2012 Venues
- University of East London Docklands Campus
- ExCeL London.
My neighbour has built onto my land and/or water is now coming into my property from my neighbour’s; what can I do?
These problems are not for the council to sort out. We suggest that, firstly, you speak to your neighbour and try to sort the problem out. If this does not work, you may need to take further action. The Citizens Advice Bureau
can give you information and advice.
Where can I find more information about boundary disputes and problems?
We cannot interfere in boundary disputes and problems. We suggest that, firstly, you speak to your neighbour and try to sort the problem out. If this doesn’t work, you may need to take further action. The Citizens Advice Bureau
can give you information and advice. You may need to speak to a solicitor.
My neighbour's builder is making noise, creating dust, throwing old tiles/bricks from the building or generally making a nuisance.
Useful building control websites
Complaints about our Building Control Service