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Building Regulations and Planning Permission: Do I Need Approval for My Project?

Building Regulations and Planning Permission: Do I Need Approval for My Project?

If you’re planning to build or modify a building, it’s important to check if you need approval for your project. For some homeowners and property developers, it can be confusing to figure out the difference between building regulations approval and planning permission, and when you need them. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.

What’s the difference between building regulations approval and planning permission?

Building regulations approval and planning permission are distinctly different permissions. Depending on your project, you may need to apply for both, just one, or none at all.

Planning permission must be sought from the local planning authorities. It concerns the development of cities, communities and landscapes, in particular how buildings and land are used, including issues of access and appearance, and how the development of a property will impact its surroundings.

Building regulations, on the other hand, are requirements concerning the technical aspects and specific details of construction, in order to ensure the health and safety of the people . Building regulation approval can be sought from your local building control body or from an approved inspector.

Do I need building regulation approval?

If you’re planning on building or expanding a property, most new construction and extension projects require building regulation approval.

You might also need approval for many interior alterations involved in renovation and remodel projects, such as electrical work, replacing or adding plumbing, ventilation work, installing and replacing heating and air conditioning systems, and replacing doors, windows and roof coverings.

You can find more information on whether your project needs approval and how to apply here:

As an alternative to applying for building regulation approval yourself, you can call upon a tradesperson or company registered with a Competent Person Scheme. This means they are allowed to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations, eliminating the need to notify the Building Control in advance and avoiding fees as well. 

Do I need planning permission?

If you have plans for a new building or to make a major change to your building, such as an expansion or change of use project, you’ll likely need planning permission. All building and land developments require planning permission, with the exception of some minor changes known as permitted developments. An extension or addition to your house may fall under permitted developments if it meets certain conditions. To find out more and research your specific project, you can visit:

Still not sure how to proceed for your project? Not an urban planning or construction expert? You don’t have to be! Don’t hesitate to contact an architect who will be happy to walk you through the administrative procedures necessary for your project, or even handle them for you. Whether you need approval for a new building, renovation, landscaping or development project, an architect can do so much more than just provide plans for the application; they can take the stress out the process!

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