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About building regulations

Building regulation approval is different to planning permission. 

  • Planning permission focuses on the appearance of the development within the local area. It looks to control inappropriate developments. 
  • Building regulations focuses on the safety of people in and around the building. The main aim is to ensure the safe construction and use of the building. 

Most building works will need an application for both planning permission and building regulations.

We will check that the building work meets the standards set by the regulations. We will provide advice for any work not meeting these standards. If the non compliant work is not resolved enforcement may result in court action.

If building work has been carried out without building regulations approval you may have problems when you come to sell the building. It may be difficult for future owners to insure or mortgage the property.

It is the responsibility of whoever commissions the building work to make sure the work meets with building regulations. For example

  • if a homeowner wants to build an extension on their house,it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure the work complies, not the builder doing the work
  • if a shopkeeper who leases a shop wants to alter the shop layout, it is the responsibility of the shopkeeper to make sure the work complies, not the building owners or the builders

Visit the LABC website for more information about building regulations.

Building regulations approval is required if you are planning on building, altering or extending a building. Most building work will need an application, for example

  • extensions, no matter how small
  • all loft conversions
  • some alterations to a building 
  • structural alterations

Visit either the Planning Portal or the LABC website for a full list of works which need an application.

Some works do not require an application, for example

  • some small detached buildings
  • most conservatories and porches (rules apply)
  • some agricultural buildings
  • most repairs, replacements and maintenance work

The Planning Portal has a more comprehensive list.

Use the Planning Portal interactive property guides to help you find out if building regulations approval is needed for the work you want to do.

You may also need planning approval for proposed alterations and development.

View the interactive property guides

Other works can be self-regulated if carried out by a "competent person". This means that the contractor carrying out the work is competent enough in their field to self-certify the work. To do this they must be signed up to a self-certification scheme. Visit the Planning Portal for more information.

The LABC has videos and how to guides aimed at homeowners wanting to develop their home. They offer guides on renovating and extending your current home, as well as a guide on creating your dream home from start to finish. It includes information on planning and funding your project, to tips about employing builders. 

Guide to renovating your home

Guide to extending your home

Guide to custom build

Guide to converting your property

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