Some things in life just seem to get more complicated, this is certainly true of the building regulations! Whilst some works are exempt, such as small porches and conservatories (subject to certain conditions), many are not. The following is based upon information available on the Government's Planning Portal websitewhich explains when permission may be necessary.
The following types of work need permission:
The erection or extension of a building.
An alteration to a building relating to structure, fire, or access to and use of buildings.
When installing replacement windows using a builder or window company not registered with the relevant competent person scheme (for example FENSA).
The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is controlled under the regulations (includes amongst others, heating systems and lighting systems).
The insertion of insulation into a cavity wall or insulating existing floors, walls and roofs to form living space.
Some re-roofing projects where there is little or no current thermal insulation.
The provision of a hot or cold water supply to a greenhouse, garden room, garage etc where the source of the water is shared with the dwelling or building controlled by the Regulations.
The underpinning of the foundations of a building.
When you want to change the building's fundamental use.
If your building work consists only of the installation of certain types of services or fittings (e.g. electrical installations in dwellings, heating, hot water, air-conditioning and ventilation, replacement windows, WCs, and showers) and you employ an installer registered with a relevant Competent Person Schemes as designated in the Building Regulations, that installer will be able to self-certify the work. Therefore, you will not need to involve a Building Control Service. However, this concession is strictly limited to the specific type of installations and does not cover any other type of building work.
In general, the Building Regulations do not apply to the buildings described below. Where this is the case, an application for Building Regulation approval is not required. However, if work is carried out to a currently exempt building which would mean this it is not longer deemed exempt, then an application would be needed. For example, an extension to a small detached garage which increases the floor area to over 30m 2 will require approval. For most home owners Class VI and VII will be of most interest.
CLASS I - Buildings controlled under other legislation
This includes building containing explosives, nuclear and ancient monuments.
CLASS II - Buildings not frequented by people
A detached building which people do not normally go; or which people go only intermittently and then only for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery.
CLASS III - Greenhouses and agricultural buildings
Agriculture includes horticulture, fruit growing and fish farming.
CLASS IV - Temporary buildings
A building which is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days.
CLASS V - Ancillary buildings
For example a construction site hut or sales office.
CLASS VI - Small detached buildings
These include A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m 2 , which contains no sleeping accommodation. It must be at least one metre from the boundary or be constructed substantially of non-combustible materials. A detached building, having a floor area which does not exceed 15m 2, which contains no sleeping accommodation.
CLASS VII - Extensions
The extension of a building by the addition at ground level of -
(a) a conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way; or
(b) a carport open on at least two sides;
Where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30m2, provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing must satisfy the requirements of Part N of Schedule 1.
These extensions must be thermally separated from the dwelling by the existing walls, windows and doors. New doors and windows can be fitted if so desired, provided they meet the current regulations. Note that the existing heating system cannot be extended into the extension.
If in doubt
If you have any doubts about whether you need permission please telephone us on 01255 686111. We would rather you phone than make a mistake which could prove costly in the future.
Please remember that building regulations and planning permission are completely different. Just because you do not need one does not mean that you do not need the other. Planning is designed to regulate the development and use of land, whereas the building regulations lay down standards of construction. Read the latest information and advice to find out if you need planning permission.