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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Building Control document archives and records

Dorset Council holds Building Regulation files for a period of 15 years from the date of completion of the building work. These records are either stored in paper file format or electronic records. However we cannot guarantee availability of all building control documentation especially with older properties.

Records relating to your property

If you are the owner of a property you can arrange to view certain plans relating to the property. However, under copyright law, copies can only be made available with the written consent of the original author. 

Please contact us to arrange a search of our records. You must notify the council in writing, via email. Depending on how old the files are and where they are stored it may take up to a week to retrieve the documentation.

Viewing is by appointment only and you will need proof of ownership, this could be in the form of a copy of a recent utility bill.

Plans relating to my property

You can obtain copies of the plans relating to your property providing we have the drawings and written permission from the author of the drawings, this is required by copyright laws. Standard copying charges apply and payment is received in advance.

Building regulation approval notices and completion certificates

Copies of these can be obtained by written request via email. Confirming you are the owner of the property. There is a charge for this service.

Building notice approvals

Building notice procedure does not require the council to issue a formal decision notice. However, an acknowledgement letter is issued on receipt and on satisfactory completion of the works a completion certificate is issued. A copy of the acknowledgement letter or the completion certificate can be obtained following written request via email.

Costs and charges

The replacement of completion certificates, or other authorising documentation is charged at £50.00 +vat for the first document and £25.00 +vat per documents thereafter. This cost covers the time of the search of historical documentation, retrieval of files and production of new documents.

Plans relating to a property I do not own (neighbour/intended purchaser)

Plans deposited with a local authority under the Building Regulations are not documents which the public are entitled to inspect under the Local Government Act 1972. However, with the owners written authorisation you may be able to view the plans.

Guidance notes for requesting information

  • it is not usually possible to provide copies of submitted plans. The copyright of all plans and documents belongs to the person who originally produced them
  • some older records are archived on monochrome microfilm. Because of this, they will not be to scale and may have lost clarity due to the microfilming process
  • it is not usually possible to offer a "same day" service for applications to view plans. The reason for this is that many records, especially estate developments, are extremely extensive and it can take a considerable time to search and locate the requested information. You will be notified in writing when the records are available to view
  • no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy of any particulars displayed
  • you or your agent may be asked to produce ID, such as a drivers license or passport
  • we do not hold construction details for sites where the building control was supervised by a private inspector. In such instances you will be advised for the contact address of the approved inspector, whose details are held in the public register of Initial Notices

Make a request

It is our aim to provide a helpful service and we will endeavour to meet all reasonable requests. It would help us to provide the relevant information if you indicate which information you are particularly interested in, or why you wish to view it

Please contact us for further information.

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