Do I Need Building Regulations Approval?

Details of the types of building work that is covered under the Building Regulations and work that is exempt.

Building works under the Regulations

Before you build, extend, convert or alter a building, you or your agent (architect, engineer, builder, developer etc.) are required to advise your Local Authority Building Control by submission of an application. This can be either a Full Plans or a Building Notice application. 

Most building work is subject to Building Regulations. The following list is an idea of what type of work is covered, but is not exhaustive. Please contact Building Control if you have any questions.

  • New buildings: dwelling houses, commercial properties, conversions 
  • Works to existing buildings: extensions, loft conversions, garage conversions, replacement windows, removal of internal walls, structural alterations
  • Alterations to services and fittings: new drainage, electrical works

Exempt Buildings and Work

The following building works may be exempt from Building Regulations subject to each item in the list being satisfied. Please contact Building Control if you are unsure.

Conservatories if:

  • They are at ground level and have a total floor area of less than 30m²
  • At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or constructed of a translucent material
  • The conservatory is separated from the main house by external quality walls, doors or windows. Please note: the Planning Portal states: "Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure." 
  • Any glazing to 'critical areas' must have toughened or laminated safety glass which complies with Part K of the Building Regulations
  • An escape window serving a room in the roof / loft conversion is not above the conservatory
  • Any heating should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls
  • New electrical circuits or works are carried out by a Part P approved electrician

Small detached buildings (including sheds/garages) if:

  • The internal floor area is less than 30m²
  • They are single storey
  • They contain no sleeping accommodation
  • They are at least 1 metre away from the boundary, and if not, must be constructed substantially of non-combustible material, for example masonry or brick
  • New electrical circuits or works are carried out by a Part P approved electrician

Carports if:

  • The floor area is less than 30m²
  • They are open on at least two sides

Porches:

  • Some porches providing weather protection to a front or rear door may be exempt, you are advised to contact Building Control with your proposal

Detached Greenhouses and Agricultural Buildings if:

  • No part of the building is used as a dwelling, that is contains no sleeping accommodation
  • No point of the building is less than 1.5 times its height from any point of a building containing sleeping accommodation
  • The building is provided with a fire exit which is not more than 30m from any point in the building
  • The primary use of the building is for keeping animals, for example a stable with small tack room, or for agriculture. The building will not be exempt if used for retailing, packing, or exhibiting

The removal of chimneys if:

  • The entire chimney is removed, including stacks, so that no part of the chimney remains
  • It is not shared with a neighbouring property
  • If only part of the chimney is being removed, an application will need to be submitted as structural support will be required

The removal of internal walls if:

  • The wall is completely non load-bearing, i.e. not supporting weight of floors, walls, roofs, partitions, or struts. Please note: timber stud walls can often be load bearing
  • Means of escape / fire regulations are not affected or made worse, i.e. the staircase is not being opened up onto habitable rooms. If you are in doubt, please provide us with a sketch of the existing and proposed layout and we will advise as to whether an application is required

Temporary buildings:

  • A building which is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days
  • Builder's site accommodation

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