If work has already been completed without approval, or has past a stage at which a statutory inspection should have been made, a third procedure known as the Regularisation procedure can be followed.
When you intend to carry out work requiring compliance with Building Regulations you should deposit 'Full Plans' for approval in good time before you wish to start work. It may take several weeks to obtain approval of the plans.
When carrying out the works you will need to give notice to the council at certain stages to have the works inspected as they proceed.
If you have full confidence that the works you wish to undertake will satisfy the technical requirements of the regulations, you may choose to submit a 'Building Notice' instead of 'Full Plans'. This will usually enable you to start work sooner but you will not have the security of an 'approved plan'. A Building Notice cannot be used for all works and you should ensure that it is appropriate to your proposals before considering using this procedure. A building Notice can only be used for domestic works.
Please note: Compliance with Building Regulations is a legal obligation imposed by the Building Act on building owners and builders. Failure to meet this obligation is an offence which carries heavy penalties. The local authority has a duty to enforce the Building Regulations.
The information above is by choice relatively brief and intended as a general guide only. If further clarification is required reference should be made to the Building Regulations or Building Act. Please ask if you require advice.
For more information, an explanatory booklet has been produced by Communities and Local Government (external link).