Building Regulations and planning permission

Got some big home improvement ambitions? Make sure you stay within the guidelines and you'll be able to enjoy peace of mind once your project is finished.

When tackling a new building project in your home, there are two main forms of legislation that you need to follow:

  • Planning permission
  • Building Regulations

When you decide to undertake building and renovation work, you will probably have to make two applications – one for town planning permission and one for Building Regulation consent.

Generally speaking, whether or not planning permission is required for a new building or alteration, Building Regulation approval will be needed.

The planning authority regulates Building Regulations and planning permission. They have the legal power to put a stop to your building project, order you to correct it or in the most serious of cases they can instruct you to demolish the work, even taking you to court if you don't comply in time.

Planning permission

Planning permission concerns itself with the use of land, the look of a building and its surrounds, access to the land and how the new building will affect the area.

It's generally a good idea to wait until planning permission has been granted before you submit a Building Regulations application.

Planning permission costs in the UK:
Planning application costs

Building Regulations

Put simply, the Building Regulations look after health and safety matters. These legal requirements are primarily concerned with the following elements of a building project:

  • Structural stability
  • Fire safety
  • Ventilation
  • Drainage
  • Electrical safety
  • Hygiene issues

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