Planning building work at home or at work need to comply with minimum standards set by law.

Building regulations exist to ensure the health and safety of people in and around all types of buildings; domestic, commercial and industrial. They also provide for energy conservation, and for access and facilities for disabled people.

Read our Guide to building regulations approval and LABC's Home owners' guides to building control for more information.

You must apply for, and get, building regulations approval before you start work.

Please read our planning applications guide first, to see if you also need planning permission.

1. Building work at home

For building regulations approval for work at home you need to complete a building notice or a full plans application form. Which of these applications you need depends on the scale and type of work involved - please email us at buildingcontrol@lambeth.gov.uk for advice.

You can download application forms here:

Please read the notes on the form and follow the advice to make sure we can process your application.

You can also complete and submit your application online:

Payment still has to be made by cheque, either in person or sent through the post.

Within three working days of receiving your building notice or full plans application, we will send you a letter to confirm that we can process it. You can then arrange the first inspection with our surveyor. You must do this at least two days before the work is due to begin.

Whatever type of application you make we will inspect the work in stages while it is being carried out, and we will give building regulations approval when the work has been finished to meet the requirements of the regulations.

2. Building work on commercial properties

All commercial properties must submit full plans.

You can also complete and submit your application online:
Submit-a-plan.

Payment still has to be made by cheque, either in person or sent through the post.

You must send in your application before you begin any work.

Ideally full plans should be sent at least five weeks before the work is due to start. We will check the plans and issue a decision to you before you start the work.

You would normally need to send in two sets of plans - we'll use these to check and consult with other authorities in the borough, for example, fire and water authorities.

In some cases, we will need more copies of the plans, but we'll let you know if this is the case.

If your plans meet building regulations, we'll issue you with an approval notice within five weeks - you are advised to wait for this before you start work.

Resubmission

If your plans are rejected you may submit another set for us to review, and you have a right to appeal.

If you resubmit revised plans for the same work within three months (known as a re-submission of plans), you will not have to pay the application charge again.

After this time you will need to pay another charge.

Altering the means of escape in case of fire

If you wish to alter the means of escape in case of fire due to a special event, you must have our permission under the London Building (Amendment) Act 1939 Part IV Sections 34/35/39.

3. Costs for building regulations approval

There is a charge for both building notice and full plans applications - please refer to our fee sheets for details or email us at buildingcontrol@lambeth.gov.uk for advice.

The fee must be sent in with your application.

All fees must be paid by cash, cheque, credit or debit card. Cheques should be made payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth'. Please write the address of the property and the application reference number on the back of the cheque to help us process it quickly and efficiently.

There are no fees for any work relating to specific disabled needs, for example, ramp access or a disabled toilet.

4. What happens if I don’t apply for building regulations approval?

You are required by law to make an application before you begin work.

If you fail to comply with building regulations, we’ll serve you with an enforcement notice and take legal action.

There are penalties for breaking building regulations. If prosecuted, you could be faced with a fine of up to £5,000, plus £50 for each day after the conviction that the work is not put right.

5. Unauthorised work

You are responsible for making sure that any work carried out before you bought a property meets building regulations approval. Make sure you are shown any completion certificates.

If the previous owner didn't get building regulations approval, you can still apply to cover the work that was carried out before you bought the property.

Building work carried out before 11 November 1985

Lambeth Building Control cannot issue retrospective approval in this case. The job can be passed by an Approved Inspector.

Building work carried out after 11 November 1985

A Regularisation certificate can be issued for work carried out after this date.

You will need to fill out a regularisation application form:

and pay the appropriate regularisation fee:

Please email us at buildingcontrol@lambeth.gov.uk to arrange for a surveyor to inspect the work.

It may be necessary to uncover some of the work to conduct a proper inspection. Having notified us of the work the owner is obliged to do whatever necessary to ensure it complies with the current legislation.

There is no extra fee for the Regularisation certificate.

6. Work you don’t need building regulations approval for

You don't need building regulations approval for:

  • Greenhouses: provided they are not used for retailing, packing or exhibiting.
  • Small detached buildings/sheds: if floor area does not exceed 15m² and contains no sleeping accommodation.
  • Boundary walls and fences: separate guidance available on request.
  • Single storey additions not open to house: with floor area not exceeding 30m² that are: conservatories, greenhouses, porches, covered yards or carports open on at least two sides. NB Glazed doors and walls should be of safety glass in critical areas and conservatories must have transparent roofs.
  • Small detached buildings: if floor area does not exceed 30m², contains no sleeping accommodation and either has brick or concrete walls or is more than 1m from the boundary.
  • Temporary structures: for example a building which is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days. Temporary structures are covered by the London Building Acts (A) Act 1939 Part IV - Section 30. We issue licences for special and temporary structures to ensure they are designed, constructed and maintained safely, for example, marquees, flag poles and advertising boards.

If work is carried out to any of the above that caused it to fall out of the exempt category, Building Regulations would then apply.

You still need to ensure that works are carried out safely to avoid accidents.

You also need to recognise that some of these works could have implications for adjacent properties, whether they need approval or not.

Out of courtesy, you should tell your neighbours about any work you’re planning to carry out – although they don’t have a right under building regulations to object to the works.

We are always happy to clarify if your work is exempt.

Please email us at buildingcontrol@lambeth.gov.uk before you start work.

7. Pre-application advice

Lambeth Building Control offers a paid pre-application advice service. We recognize that different sized sites require differing levels of input and in order to respond to that demand, four categories have been created as indicated in the listing below.

Applicants benefiting from Lambeth’s Building Control pre-application service, who subsequently choose the council to submit and process their application, will have their pre-application advice fee deducted from the overall application fee. In this way, applicants who have sought advice and continue to use the service for their live application will benefit from the initial advice service at no extra cost to their overall project.

Request pre-application advice

To request pre-application advice please read and complete the following form:

Once completed email the form to:

Contact us

You can telephone us on:

020 7926 9000
Building Control

Or email us:

8. Temporary structures

We issue licences for special and temporary structures to ensure they are designed, constructed and maintained safely, for example, marquees, flag poles and advertising boards.

Temporary structures are covered by the London Building Acts (A) Act 1939 Part IV - Section 30. We need to give consent for a temporary structure to be erected.

Download and complete the London Building Amendment Act 1939 Section 30 Application form.

London Building Acts (A) 1939 Section 30 Charges

The fee must be sent in with your application.

All fees must be paid by cash, cheque, credit or debit card. Cheques should be made payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth'.