Based on our experience having completed a Gateway 2 application and received approval for works to an existing hospital scheme categorised as a higher-risk building (HRB), we have listed below the information required in order to complete an application for Building Control approval for works to an HRB. The project is now on site and works are progressing well within the new legislative system, working closely with the BSR and having already had a major change control application and relevant site inspections.

In the first instance, you will need to start the application via the following link to the government portal. Being part of the .gov website, the interface is similar to that one may have used to obtain a driving licence or passport or any HMRC works, and not similar to a building control or planning portal one you may expect!

At the start you need to fill in the following details to receive a unique reference from the BSR and help keep track of the application.

(!) Tip: the person who is filling out the information below is the only person who receives correspondence via their email address. There is no option to add further contact details at the moment, which we have highlighted to the BSR as part of our feedback as it can be tricky on larger schemes or when the specific person is on holiday. 

  • Name your application
  • What are you applying to do?
  • Your name
  • Your telephone number
  • What is your organisation type?
  • What is the name of your organisation?
  • Organisation address
  • Organisation email address
  • Verification

(!) Tip: This is the point where you will receive an email with the unique reference for your project. Keep this safe. You can use it to return to your application at any time using the same link as above.

(!) Tip: It is important to receive the unique reference before you continue to the next section of the application. The portal times out for security reasons after 15 minutes and without the unique reference to log back you will lose any information you fill in the following sections… unless things changed since our application!

Then there are 9 sections to complete with all the information and documentation required to upload.

(!) Tip: Remember to save as you go! Once you save you can leave and come back to the application using the unique reference code and start where you finished last time.

(!) Tip: Every time you log in you have to add the email address you originally had put in the contract details, a verification email with a 6-digit security code is sent to that email, and you input that to get back onto the application. Here is where access to the original email address is important! 

1. Name and location of project

(a) Building name
(b) Building location

2. Current building details

(a) Does the higher risk building have a registration number?

(!) Tip: Existing hospitals do not have a registration number, this section is not applicable.

(b) How many storeys does the existing building currently have?
(c) What is the current height of the existing building?
(d) Current number of residential units
(e) Current number of non-residential units
(f) Current primary use of the existing building
(g) Current use of each storey

3. Proposed work

(a) What work are you proposing?

(!) Tip: There are two categories of this kind of work A and B. You need to select all descriptions that apply to the work you are proposing.

(b) Will the use of any part of the building change in any way?
(c) Describe the work you are proposing to undertake

(!) Tip: 2000 character limit and remember to save and continue within 15 mins as you don’t want to lose that amount of text!

(d) Estimated build time in months
(e) Do you have a planning reference number?
(f) Do you want to submit a partial completion strategy?
(g) Upload the partial completion strategy

4. Drains, sewers and local enactments

(a) Are you constructing a new drain or private sewer?
(b) Drainage precaution
(c) Do any local enactments apply and how you will comply with them

5. Documents

(a) Upload to show that work will fully comply with the building regulations
(b) Site location plan
(c) Competence declaration
(d) Construction control plan
(e) Change control plan
(f) Mandatory occurrence reporting plan
(g) Building regulations compliant statement
(h) Fire and emergency file

6. Client details

7. Principal Designer details

8. Principal Contractor details

9. Pay and submit

(a) Client authorisation to act for them
(b) Declaration
(c) Payment method (£180)

In terms of timescales, according to the The Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023 Section 13.—(1) (b) an application for works to an existing HRB would be determined within 8 weeks from submission of a valid application ‘or within such longer periods as at any time the regulator and the applicant agree in writing’. In our case, which is worth noting it was a small internal refurb scheme, it took 2 weeks from submission to validate the application, and 11 weeks from validation to receive the approval notice. Therefore, it is important to ensure all in the project team and relevant stakeholders are aware of the increased timescales that may affect the project deliverables.

Keep a look out for future posts where we will be expanding on the information above, focusing on the new documentation that is now required as part of this process such like the Change Control plan or the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting plan.