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Building Standards

Building Standards is the process by which any building work is checked to ensure it is designed and constructed in accordance with minimum standards laid down by the Government in the form of The Building Regulations. The main purpose of the Regulations is to safeguard health and safety of people in or about buildings, further the conservation of fuel and power and further the achievement of sustainable development.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who provides the service?

Building Standards forms a section of the Communities Department and is managed by the Building Standards Manager. For Building Standards purposes, Angus is divided into two areas - North and South. The teams are split into groups of community council areas - see Map of Officer Areas (650 KB PDF) Opens in a new window Opens in a new window.

Building Standards Manager

North - Montrose, Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir

South - Arbroath, Carnoustie, Monifieth, Birkhll, Letham, Glamis, Friockheim, Newtyle

Defective & Dangerous Buildings

Improvement & Repair Grants

Duty Officer

On Wednesdays only a Duty Officer will be available who will endeavour to answer your enquiry but if your enquiry relates to a specific project, a note of your name and contact details will be taken to allow the appropriate Building Standards Officer to contact you.

Health & Safety

If you are having construction of refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well - find out more on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website.

What is a Verifier?

Verifiers are responsible for issuing building warrants. In assessing your application for a warrant, they must apply the standards set by the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

At the current time Angus Council is the verifier for all work requiring building warrant approval in the Angus Council area.

What are the Building Regulations?

They are legal requirements laid down by the Scottish Parliament that are intended to provide reasonable standards for the purpose of securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings.

They are also for conserving fuel and power and for furthering the achievement of sustainable development.

The requirements are set by the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. The guidance contained in the Technical Handbooks, for domestic and non-domestic buildings will assist you to comply with the Regulations.

What is the Scottish Government Building Standards Division?

The Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government undertakes the national functions related to the Building Standards system.

The Division is based at:-

Denholm House
Almondvale Business Park
Livingstone EH54 6GA

Tel: 01506 600400
Fax: 01506 600401
Website: Scottish Government Building Standards Division

Is there any building work that is exempt from the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations?

Yes. Certain broad categories of buildings are exempt, and the full list is included in Schedule 1 in Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks.

Is there any building work that does not need a building warrant?

Yes. Provided that the regulations are complied certain works do not require a Building Warrant. For full details on work that does not require a Building Warrant but nevertheless has to comply, please refer to the full list is included in Schedule 3 in Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks.

Further details on work not requiring Building Warrant approval is available by referring to the following guidance notes:-

Do I need a building warrant to install solar photovoltaic and solar thermal equipment on an existing house?

No. Provided the building regulations are complied with a building warrant is not required to install such equipment on to a house with a storey no more than 4.5 metres above ground level.

The building owner must satisfy themselves that the existing structure is capable of taking any additional loadings from the proposed installation. A structural appraisal of the existing structure should be undertaken by a competent person before the installation is installed. For further details on the structural impact of installing solar or photovoltaic panels on existing buildings please refer to the following Scottish Government document:

A building warrant for the entire installation will be required if a structural element to the house requires strengthening to allow the installation to take place.

If a building warrant is required it should be applied for in the normal manner. See "How do I apply for a Building Warrant?"

What is a conversion?

A conversion is a specified change of occupation or use of a building which will cause the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 to apply.

For example changing a loft space from storage use to an apartment or a garage into a bedroom.

For anything more complex it is likely that professional advice will be required and Schedule 2 in Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks lists 10 specific types of work defined as a conversion.

If you are in doubt you should seek advice from us as the verifier. Please note that a Building Warrant is required for a conversion even if no building work is carried out.

How do I apply for a Building Warrant?

Having established that a Building Warrant is required, you will need to complete an application form. (Download Form A: Application for Building Warrant (56 KB PDF)Opens in a new window or contact Building Standards at the address below). Submit it to us along with two copies of plans (including a site plan) clearly illustrating the proposed works. A fee will be payable and must accompany your application for the decision making process to commence. The fees, set by the Government, are in proportion to the cost of the proposed works. See table of fees (26 KB PDF)Opens in a new window or contact Building Standards. Alternatively, if the development is sufficiently minor you can utilise the Instant Building Warrant Assessment Service (35 KB PDF)Opens in a new window. This will allow consent to be given quickly thereby allowing work to commence on site.

Can I submit my own application?

Unless you are familiar with the requirements of the Building Regulations you are STRONGLY advised to engage the services of a suitably qualified agent.

Do I need to notify my neighbours?

No. However, a warrant only shows compliance with the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. Where the proposed building work is likely to affect or involve a mutual part of a building, you may have other legal obligations. It is advisable to inform any affected party.

Note also that if you need planning permission for the work (which is separate from the building warrant) neighbour notification is required. The Development Management Section of the Council can advise you on planning matters.

Will I require other consent?

Planning Permission

The requirements of the two sets of legislation are quite different but more often than not you will require both approvals. You should contact the Development Management Section of the Planning & Transport Division for advice on whether or not a planning application is also necessary.

Health & Safety

If you are having construction of refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well - find out more on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website.

How much does a Building Warrant cost?

The fee payable for a Building Warrant will be based on the estimated cost of the building work. See table of fees (26 KB PDF)Opens in a new window.

The verifier (Council) may wish to have the estimated cost of the work checked or confirmed. If so, it is likely that we will use the building cost indices provided by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Discounts and refunds may be applicable if Certifiers of Design and Construction are used. See answer to question "What are Certifiers of Design and Construction?" below.

There is no fee for works to alter or extend a dwelling which are solely for the benefit of a disabled person (a letter of support from an Occupation Therapist or equivalent is required on application).

How is the application processed?

On receipt, your application and plans will be checked and if adequate, will be registered and validated. The plans are then assessed by a Building Standards Officer to check that they comply with the Building Regulations using the Technical Handbooks for guidance.

We will endeavour to provide you with a technical response, or issue the Building Warrant, as applicable, within 20 working days from receipt of your valid application. In some cases, applications for a Building Warrant will result in a "customer agreement" between you and Building Standards where the performance outcomes including the target first response period will be specifically agreed.

Other than those applications covered by a customer agreement, if you have not received a technical response, or a Building Warrant, as applicable, within 35 working days from receipt of your valid application you have the right to request resolution to the matter. This may be done, in the first instance, by contacting our Building Standards Manager on 01307 473234 or by e-mail at MurrayLAG@angus.gov.uk.

You may also contact the Building Standards Division at buildingstandards@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

Any consultations with e.g. the Fire Authority, SEPA, Angus Access Panel will be carried out at this time. The technical response (first report) will detail which aspects of your proposals do not comply with the building regulations. It is then the responsibility of the agent or applicant to provide the necessary information or details to answer the technical queries raised by the Building Standards Officer. A Building Warrant application that has not been granted within nine months of the date of the technical response (first report) is automatically determined to be refused unless a longer period is agreed with us as verifier.

The Building Regulations are a set of functional standards which can be met by complying with the associated technical guidance. This guidance need not be followed with an architect or agent putting forward proposals to meet the functional standards. It will be for the Building Standards Officer to use their professional judgement and decide whether the functional standards have been met. (Download the Alternative Approach of the Technical Standards application form (70 KB PDF)Opens in a new window).

Where can I get a copy of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Technical Handbooks?

You may view or download the Building Regulations and Technical Handbooks at the Scottish Government website's Building Standards section free of charge.

For larger projects you will probably use an architect or other suitably qualified person who will be conversant with the guidance in the Handbooks.

For a small project we, as verifier, will be able to explain what impact the mandatory standards are likely to have on your building proposal and you may not need to obtain a copy.

What are Certifiers of Design and Construction?

Certification of Design (Building Structures)

Certification of Design (Section 6 - Energy) for Non-Domestic Buildings

Certification of Design (Section 6 - Energy) for Domestic Buildings

By using a Certifier of Design the verifier is satisfied that all aspects of that particular section of the building Regulations is complied with. Using a Certificate of Design to support your Building Warrant application entitles you to a 10% discount for each certificate submitted (see table of fees (26 KB PDF)Opens in a new window for additional information) on your Building Warrant fee.

Using a Certifier of Design simplifies the approval process in that we, as verifiers, cannot comment on the structural design.

If you, in support of your building warrant submission, provide structural calculations rather than a Certificate of Design, this will almost inevitably delay the issue of your building warrant.

Certification of Construction (Domestic and Non Domestic)

The submission of a Certificate of Completion can be supported by a Certificate of Construction from an approved Certifier of Construction. There are Certifiers of Construction schemes for electrical work and plumbing and drainage. Scheme providers are as follows:-

By using a Certifier of Construction in the construction process satisfies the verifier that the work constructed complies with the Building Regulations. Using a Certifier of Construction entitles you to a 1% discount (see table of fees (26 KB PDF)Opens in a new window for additional information) on your Building Warrant fee.

Full details of Certification of Design and Construction is given at the:

Can my application be processed quickly?

You may wish to contact Building Standards and enter into a Customer Agreement to allow your application to be assessed in a timescale which suits you. Examples of applications which can be assessed using a Customer Agreement are:-

What if my plans are rejected?

Building Warrant applications are almost never refused as Building Standards staff will always indicate what is required in order to meet the terms of the Building Regulations. However, if comments sent to the applicant or agent remain unanswered nine months after the initial comments were made a local authority can determine the application and refuse it.

How do I obtain a view from Scottish Ministers?

Definitive interpretation of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 is the responsibility of the verifier and ultimately a matter for the Courts to decide. However, the Scottish Ministers can give a view on the extent to which proposed building work complies with the regulations. Either the applicant or the verifier may choose to request a formal view. The Ministers will only give a view if they "think it fit". They will not usually give a view if only one party seeks to approach the Building Standards Division (which acts on behalf of the Ministers). This process is not an unofficial appeal system, but to clarify a genuine doubt about what meets the regulations. A referral for a view should be e-mailed or faxed to the Building Standards Division. The Division will reply stating whether or not they are prepared to give a view, what the fee is and when a response will be given. The referral need only provide minimum information and drawings, further details may be requested if necessary. A view is sent to both verifier and applicant and the verifier is required to have regard to it. The verifier is invoiced for the fee. If it considers it useful, the Division may publish views on the website.

What if I want to make changes to my proposals?

Deviations from the approved plans can be made by submitting an application for an amendment to warrant.

Download Form B: Application for Amendment of Building Warrant (40 KB PDF)Opens in a new window

An additional fee will be payable - see table of fees (14 KB PDF)Opens in a new window for details.

Can I start work before obtaining a Warrant?

The answer is a categoric NO. It is a legal requirement that you obtain approval before commencing building work.

What if I carry out works without a Warrant?

As you would be in breach of the legislation, you risk action being taken against you. There is a procedure if the work is not finished to apply for a late application. The procedure is the same as for a building warrant where work has not started. There is also a procedure for submitting a late certificate of completion when the work has been completed. In both instances a 25% premium on the basic fee is payable. (Download Form 6: Completion Certificate where No Warrant Was Obtained - Submission (36 KB PDF)Opens in a new window and see table of fees (14 KB PDF)Opens in a new window.)

How long is a Building Warrant valid?

A Building Warrant is valid for three years from the date of approval. If work is incomplete by that time, it is possible to apply for a limited extension. An extension must always be applied for within the initial three years. To obtain an extension to your warrant you should enclose a fee of £50.

Download Form C: Application to Extend Period of Validity of Building Warrant (40 KB PDF)Opens in a new window Complete form and return to Building Standards enclosing a fee of £50.

What do I do after the Building Warrant has been granted?

You must send to us the start date form at least 7 days prior to work starting.

Enclosed as part of your approval documents is the Construction Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP) for the project. It is important that to allow us as verifiers to try and ensure that, as far as possible, building regulations are complied with, that the requirements of the Construction Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP) are adhered to. You must notify Building Standards giving a minimum of 3 working days notice to arrange for an inspection of the work highlighted on the Plan.

The contact details of the inspecting officer are on the plan or alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01307 461460 or e-mail at Planning@angus.gov.uk.

What do I do once work is complete?

You should submit a Completion Certificate (Form 5) (50 KB PDF) Opens in a new window Opens in a new window along with all associated paperwork indicated on the checklist accompanying the Construction Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP).

Note: The checklist identifying the documentation required may be exhaustive

What is a Completion Certificate?

A Certificate of Completion is a formal document submitted by "the relevant person" certifying that the work is complete and was carried out in accordance with the approved Building Warrant and the building regulations.

If having visited the site and found that all work has been carried out in accordance with the Building Warrant and Building Regulations, Building Standards will confirm that the Completion Certificate has been accepted. If all work has not been completed the Completion Certificate will be formally rejected however Building Standards will inform the person who issued the Certificate of the work requiring attention.

A Completion Certificate is an important legal document and you should always, when carrying out building work, submit one. There is a legal requirement to do so but failure to obtain one will undoubtedly affect the sale of your property, if, or when you decide to do so.

Download:

Can I occupy premises before receiving the Acceptance of my Certificate of Completion?

It is an offence to occupy a building which has not had a Completion Certificate accepted. Under exceptional circumstances the council can issue a Certificate of Temporary Occupation for a limited period.

Download Form E: Application for Temporary Occupation or Use (47 KB PDF)Opens in a new window

Who do I contact for further information?

Building Standards Manager

Planning & Transport Division
Angus Council
County Buildings
Market Street
Forfar DD8 3LG

Telephone: 01307 473234
Fax: 01307 461895

Service Page: buildstandards.htm
Service Details Last Reviewed : 3 February 2014

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