Owners should not commence work until they have sight of their Building Warrant approval documents. It is an offence under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 to begin building works prior to obtaining Building Warrant Approval. You may be subject to enforcement action by the Council should unauthorised works occur.
The Scottish Government has produced a Customer Journey document which explains the roles and responsibilities of the home owner in relation to the building standards process. This gives helpful guidance to those who intend to carry out building work and where to seek help.
A building warrant is required for the erection, conversion, alteration or extension of a building and is also necessary for the demolition of a property.
A building warrant will normally be required for works such as:
There are some categories of work that are exempt from the Building Regulations and others where the Regulations still apply but works can be carried out without Building Warrant approval. Many types of minor work and repair and replacement works to one or two storey houses can be carried out without formal permissions.
A full list of works that are exempt from the Regulations can be viewed in the Technical Handbooks on the Scottish Government Website.
Should you require written confirmation that your proposal does not need Building Warrant Approval, a Letter of Confirmation can be provided for works that have not yet started, works that have already been completed and also historic works that were carried out prior to the Building Regulations.
To obtain a letter of confirmation you must write to Building Standards providing full details of the works including sketches or photographs and dates where applicable.
Fee for a Letter of Confirmation is £70.
The Scottish Government sets the fees that are charged by Councils for building warrant submissions. Discounts are applicable where Certificates of Design or Construction are provided.
There is no statutory reason to prevent an applicant from preparing and submitting their own plans providing they adhere to Building Standards Regulations. Due to the complexity of the process we recommended that you engage the services of an experienced professional such as an architect, surveyor or engineer to prepare your submission on your behalf.
It is important that any proposed changes are discussed and agreed prior to making these in order to prevent possible abortive works and to ensure that the necessary permissions are in place. If you do not contact Building Standards this may lead to increased costs. It is likely that where changes are made they will require an amendment to warrant and in some cases the changes may also require additional planning consents.
The Scottish Government website has a section on frequently asked questions which may be of further assistance.
As part of our commitment to improve the quality of the service we provide and would appreciate it if you would complete a short survey. Once the survey period has closed a report of the survey findings will be made available on the council's website. Your response is completely anonymous and personal details will not be published.
Procedural and Legislation
Procedural Handbooks, Building (Scotland) Act 2003, Fees and Forms Regulations, etc.
Current and previous versions of the Technical Handbooks, both Domestic and Non-Domestic.
Key Guidance Documents
Conservatory Handbook, Example Constructions, Air tightness and Sound Testing, Small Buildings Structural Guidance, Low Carbon Equipment, etc.
Health and Safety Executive
When carrying out work you may also need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of your proposal.