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The Building Control Service

The Building Control Service

Councils in Northern Ireland have a statutory duty to enforce the Building Regulations and they do this through their Building Control Department.  The Building Regulations are designed to ensure certain standards of health and safety apply to all buildings, with particular focus on achieving adequate standards of fire safety.  The regulations also protect the environment by requiring buildings to be thermally efficient, reducing energy consumption and therefore the emission of pollutants which damage the atmosphere.  Regulations are also in place to deal with accessibility and are effective in improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.  Building Regulations and Building Control, therefore, have an important role to play in helping protect people and the environment.

Every year the Council’s Building Control department assess thousands of applications and undertakes many more site inspections.  The Building Control Department strives to assist designers, builders, and the public to comply with the Northern Ireland Building Regulations.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that work is carried out to building regulations.  Designers are responsible to the client, to design a scheme that meets the functional requirements of the building regulations, while builders, act on their client’s instructions, to construct the work in accordance with building regulations.

There are key stages of the work where the regulations require that the Council be notified,  the applicant is responsible for ensuring that such notices are given in a timely manner.  A list of statutory notices is included in the inspections section.

Building Control usually communicates with the designer or the builder, unless the applicant expressly asks to have correspondence sent directly to them.

Building Control staff also provide other services including:

  • Street Naming and Postal Numbering
  • Council Property Certificates for Conveyancing
  • Dangerous Structure
  • Energy Performance Certificates

It is not the function of Building Control to provide a site supervision service, or to provide a warranty for construction work.  These services may be obtained from architects, building surveyors, clerks of works and various warranty schemes.  It is not the Council’s role to act as a mediation service between applicant and builder.

Pre-submission enquiries are welcomed in relation to specific questions e.g.  where a designer, having produced sketches for a scheme requires clarification around an issue that falls outside the scope of guidance in the Building Regulations Technical Booklets.  Pre-submission enquiries generally need to be accompanied by drawings and questions.  Such enquiries will not lead to a full assessment of the scheme; this can only be carried out on the receipt of a valid application.

Contact Building Control
Telephone : 0330 0561 010