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Building Standards

Frequently Asked Questions

This information is for buildings of normal domestic use (houses), not for buildings of a commercial or industrial use. Please also bear in mind that the following information is merely a guideline and if you are in any doubt please ask to speak with one of our Building Standards Officers.

Various general guidance documents along with a general FAQ on the Building
Standards service can also be found online by navigating to the Scottish Building
Standards Division section of the Scottish Government website at the following address (or by clicking the link if you are viewing this document electronically):

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/publications/pubguide

Do I require a warrant to build a garage/shed?

Generally most garages/sheds would require a warrant unless they have a floor area of under 30m2 and can satisfy various other criteria. We have a leaflet available to provide more information on this which can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

It should however be kept in mind that although it may not be necessary to apply for a warrant in some cases, the building should still be built in accordance with the current building regulations.

Do I require a warrant to build an agricultural building?

Agricultural buildings would require a warrant if the building:

  • is to be higher than single storey;
  • is to have a floor area in excess of 280m2;
  • is to contain any combustion appliance;
  • is to be used for anything other than agricultural purposes;
  • or if it is to be located less than 6m or the equivalent of the average height of the
    building away from the boundary or any buildings.

We have a leaflet available to provide more information on this which can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

It should however be kept in mind that although it may not be necessary to apply for a warrant in some cases, the building should still be built in accordance with the current building regulations.

Do I require a warrant to build an extension or conservatory?

Almost all extensions would require a warrant unless they have a floor area of less than 8m2, will not involve any structural work to the existing building and can satisfy various other criteria such as fire separation distances from boundaries and neighbouring buildings etc. We have a leaflet available to provide more information on this which can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

It should however be kept in mind that although it may not be necessary to apply for a warrant in some cases, the building should still be built in accordance with the current building regulations.

Do I require a warrant for a loft conversion?

Loft conversions will require a warrant. We have a leaflet available to provide more information on loft conversions which can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

You may also consider looking at the leaflets relating to Escape Windows, Stairs, and if it is to form a third story to a building then the leaflet on Fire Doors should also be considered.

Do I require a ramp?

A leaflet that provides information on ramps, accessible entrances and access Steps can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

Please bear in mind that any new ramp constructed, even if it is at an existing building, should comply with the current standards relating to ramps.

How much insulation do I need in an extension to my house?

The amount of insulation required can vary depending on the construction of the
building and also the levels of insulation in the existing house. For further details on this please consult your one of our officers or your agent/architect.

Where can I place my oil tank?

A leaflet that provides information on oil storage tanks and oil fired appliances be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

Where can I place my LPG tank/cylinders?

Your LPG Bulk Tank or LPG storage cylinders should be installed by a Gas Safe
registered engineer, who should be able to advise you on the permissible areas to position such fuel storage. However a leaflet that provides information on LPG Bulk storage tanks and LPG Cylinders which may be able to help you can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

Where can I place my septic tank?

All elements of a septic tank and filtration system should be positioned at least 5 metres away from any buildings and boundaries and at least 10 metres from any watercourse. Further information on these distance along with design guidance can be found in our leaflet relating to septic tanks and infiltration system which can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

Where can I locate a Stove & Flue?

We have leaflets available on both ‘Flues & Chimneys’ and ‘Solid Fuel Appliances, Hearths & Fireplaces’ which should provide you with guidance on these items and can be found on our website at the following link or by collecting a paper copy from our offices:

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards/guidanceleaflets.asp

As particular care should always be taken with any appliances which involve
combustible material within the home please also feel free to as to speak to one of our officers should you wish for further guidance.

When should I notify Building Standards for inspections?

A Completion Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP) will be provided to you with your warrant approval documents, this will outline details on the minimum required inspection stages. However, as a general rule, we should be notified when works commence, i.e. when the site is cleared and the foundations are ready to be constructed so that we may inspect the foundation trenches, formwork, or site fill prior to any concrete. Your structural engineer (if one is involved) should also be notified at this stage.

The next inspection should then be arranged with the area officer to inspect the drainage layout when the pipes have been laid in the trenches and are still exposed, prior to any backfilling.
A further inspection should also be arranged when the superstructure has been erected but prior to the sheeting of the walls.
The final inspection which must be arranged is for the Completion inspection which is carried out when all of the works have been completed.
It is possible to arrange to have an officer come for additional inspections in some instances if it is required but these should be arranged with the area officer.

Please also be aware that notice should be given with as much time as possible to give the area officer sufficient time to schedule a visit, so that works are not held up as works await inspection.

How much will my Building Warrant Cost?

Building Warrant fees vary depending on the size of the building and also the type of the building. Fees are worked out based on the internal floor area using a standard rate per square metre. The floor area is multiplied by the rate per square metre for the relevant building type to arrive at a notional figure which you would then compare against the table supplied with your building warrant application to determine the fee which relates to the figure. The floor area rates per square metre for building types are as follows;

Garage: £525 (including integral garage areas)
Agricultural Building: £290 (Profiled Sheeting)
Agricultural Building: £508 (Blockwork)
House Ground Floor: £1277
House Upper Floors: £913
Refurbishment/Conversion: £650

For example a two story house with an integral garage would multiply floor areas of the various different parts of the building (i.e. garage, ground floor, first floor) and then add the totals for each area together to arrive at the total notional figure.

If you require further guidance please feel free to ask us for assistance.

Contact Details

Tel: 01851 822 692
Fax: 01851 709 340
E-Mail:
Web: www.cne-siar.gov.uk/buildingstandards

Building Standards
Development Department
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road
Stornoway
Isle of Lewis
HS1 2BW