Unauthorised Works

Unauthorised work is building work that has started without a Building Regulation application being submitted.

Report unauthorised work:

Click on Contact STG , phone us on 01634 331133 or email us at building@stgbc.org.uk to report any unauthorised building work.

Please ensure you provide sufficient information regarding the exact property address and works being undertaken.


Stages of investigation

We investigate each complaint in up to 6 stages.

Please note:  We protect the anonymity of members of the public who lodge the complaint.  If a complainant is someone acting in an official capacity, for instance they represent another council service, that service may be named (e.g. planning enforcement).

Stage 1 – acknowledgement
We prioritise each complaint we receive and aim to send an acknowledgement (where details are provided) within 3 working days.

Stage 2 – initial desktop investigation
The first stage of investigation is called a 'desktop' investigation. For this, we will:

If it's not clear to us how building regulations may have been breached, we may contact the person who made the complaint and ask for more information.

If we believe the complaint is not a building regulation matter, no action will be taken, and the case will be closed. Non-building regulations matters can include:

Details of non-building regulation complaints will be passed to other departments, where relevant.

We will write to the complainant if the work does not require a building regulation application or an application has been submitted advising them of the fact.

Stage 3 – initial site visit
Our surveyor will visit the site of the alleged unauthorised work. This involves:

Stage 4 – action after the initial site visit
Following their initial site visit, our surveyor will contact the owner, occupier, or person responsible for the alleged unauthorised development, to either:

We will write to the complainant, telling them of the initial findings and any proposed action.

Stage 5 – further investigation
Depending upon the outcome of Stage 4, the surveyor may have to:

Stage 6 - action following investigation
After investigations have been completed, STG will take no further action if:

If we find there has been unauthorised work, then we may invite an application to regularise the building work. 

Although there are provisions within the regulations for a local authority to accept applications to regularise work carried out without approval, there is no obligation on a local authority to accept such application.  Also, the greater the length of time since work was completed, the less likely this would provide a satisfactory solution.

If we find the unauthorised work presents a life risk, we may:

Under the provisions of Section 36(6), Building Act 1984, the council can seek a High Court injunction to require the alteration or removal of work that doesn't comply.

We will inform the complainant of our decision if this has an impact on their property.


Prioritising complaints

Each building regulation enforcement case will be given a priority.

Serious breaches – require immediate investigation
We prioritise cases as 'serious' if they concern:

Urgent complaints – investigation begins
We prioritise cases as 'urgent' if they concern:

We also prioritise cases as 'urgent' if the opportunity to take enforcement action will end shortly due to immunity.

Non-urgent complaints – investigation begins
We prioritise cases as 'non-urgent' if they concern:

No specific priority – investigation is undertaken as needed
Even if no complaint has been received, we will check name and numbering reports that have addresses where properties are formed but no building regulation application has been submitted.


Download Documents