Full Plans Procedure

What is it?

Full Plans involves the submission of fully detailed plans, specifications, calculations and other relevant supporting information, which is then checked to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. The amount of detail depends on the size and type of building works proposed. You should include a location plan showing where the building is in relation to neighbouring streets.

If satisfactory, a Passing of Plans Notice is issued. Where the proposals are found to be unsatisfactory a Building Control Surveyor will attempt to contact you or your agent so that the plans can be amended. In some circumstances there may be no alternative but to reject plans (i.e. where they breach regulations, or contain insufficient information).

If you or your agent wish to talk to a Building Control Surveyor about your scheme before submitting it for assessment, you can do so by contacting Building Control.

Assessment of Proposal

The plans and supporting documents are assessed for compliance with Building Regulations. You (or your agent) will be notified if any revisions are required the amended plans can then be resubmitted. When all details are satisfactory your plans can be passed.

Commencement of Work and Site Inspections

When a successful submission has been made building can start. At this point Building Control must be notified so that the surveyors can visit the site. They will carry out inspections from start to completion - there is a legal obligation to advise the Building Control Department at various stages so that inspections may be undertaken. Building Control will undertake any other inspections deemed necessary. If a builder starts work before approval of the plans, he proceeds entirely at his own risk. After the first inspection has been carried out, the inspection charge is due.

The work to which the Full Plans submission related must be started within three years of the date of the submission being made.


You know that as long as the work is carried out in line with the passed plans, it will meet the regulations. The builder can work to the passed drawings in the knowledge that the detail complies with the regulations

Copies of the decision notice will be issued together with plans stamped accordingly and these can be retained with the property details.

You can give the decision notice to banks, solicitors, and surveyors etc when you are applying for loans or moving home.

As long as the work is carried out in line with the passed plans, and all the relevant inspections find the work is of a satisfactory standard, you will get a Completion Certificate.

Passed plans may be used for up to three years even if the regulations change.


It can be expensive to prepare fully detailed plans.

You have to programme the work to allow enough time to prepare plans and for us to process them.

Completion Certificate

When the works are satisfactorily completed Building Control will forward a Completion Certificate to the applicant. The Completion Certificate is an important legal document and may be required if/when the property comes to be sold. It should be stored safely.

Make a submission

 To submit an application by post,

Send it together with the required information and charge to the Council at West Lancashire Borough Council, Directorate of Place and Community, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk L39 2DF. 

You can bring the submission and charge in person to the offices but these should be placed in a sealed envelope and deposited with the Customer Services reception. We are unable to provide a receipt for the charge at the reception point but one will be provided after the submission has been registered.