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Do I need building regulations?

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Most building work will require building regulations approval. This is different to planning permission and must be applied for separately.

Even work classed as 'Permitted Development' (PD) under Town Planning Rules will still require a Building Regulations Application and Approval.

Higher-Risk Buildings

Building Regulations for new and existing Residential Buildings with 7 or more floors

All Controlled Building Work in connection with any 'Higher-Risk Building' (existing or proposed) is now overseen by the national GOV.UK - Building Safety Regulator (BSR) for England

Different 'planning' rules do apply to historic 'listed buildings' and to 'buildings in conservation areas', more information on these consents can be found on the Planning portal website.

The LABC website also provide general information and generic advice on the building regulations for specific types of projects.

Regulated project examples

The following types of projects and building works are regulated, by this local Building Control Authority:

  • Structural alterations to any building, such as removing a load-bearing wall.
  • Most extensions to an existing building including conservatories, porches, conversion of a loft / roof space or garage.
  • Installation of heating, hot water and air conditioning systems
  • Installing additional bathroom fittings in a new or additional bathroom or en-suite
  • Domestic electrical installations (for new circuits and re-wiring)
  • Alterations to drainage systems (above and below ground)
  • Re-roofing and roof-repairs /replacement (over 25% of area)
  • Replacing windows, doors, floors or roof light windows
  • New installation or replacement of a heating system or any boiler, or any fire/stove, regardless of fuel type
  • Erection of a new (or rebuilding of an existing) flue or chimney
  • Changing the energy status of a building
  • Retrofitting controlled energy saving measures and controls.
  • Changing the 'use of a building', for example 'barn conversions', etc.
  • Conversion of a house or apartment into a 'House in Multiple Occupation' (HMO)
  • Erecting a new non-domestic building (retail, office, commercial, workplace, etc.)
  • Erecting a new Dwelling
  • Installation of a EVCP (Electric Vehicle Charging Point)

A full list of planning and building regulations

Exemptions

Building regulations do exempt some small buildings and extensions from the need to make an application. The most common types of building work which are exempt include:

A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30 square metres, which contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building:

  • No point is less than one metre from the boundary of its curtilage
  • Constructed substantially of non-combustible material (e.g. Double Garage, Garden Hut, etc.)

A detached building, having a floor area which does not exceed 15 square metres, which contains no sleeping accommodation. (e.g. Single Garage, Garden Hut, etc.)

The extension of an existing building by the addition, at ground level of:

  • A conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way; or
  • A carport open on at least two sides: where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30 square metres.
  • However, any glazing and any electrical work must satisfy the relevant requirements of Approved Documents and Building Regulations.
  • All conservatories and porches must have thermal separation from the main dwelling, for example insulated or double glazed doors. Nor may they be heated by the main dwelling's central heating system.

A detached building designed and intended to shelter people from the effects of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, and not used for any other purpose, if:

  • Its floor area does not exceed 30 square metres
  • The excavation for the building is no closer to any exposed part of another building or structure than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation plus one metre.

A full list of exemptions from the building regulations and further advice and general guidance can be found on the Government's Planning Portal website.

Unauthorised building works

As the Building Control Authority we can take enforcement action under the Building Act 1984 ( as amended by the Building Safety Act 2022) for any controlled works carried out, without the submission of a Building Regulation Application, where one was required, in the past ten years.

If work to your property has been carried out without an application for building regulations being submitted then the work is considered to be unauthorised work.

If controlled work is or was carried out to your property and it has not been inspected by Building Control, for compliance with the relevant requirements of the building regulations, the owner of the property could find they will face difficulty when they come to selling or re-mortgaging their property.

If the unauthorised work was carried out any time since 11 November 1985 then the owner can apply for a apply for building regulation approval.

Most importantly the 'regularisation certificate' (if issued following an application and the necessary inspections and/or tests) would mean that the building work carried out complies with the Building Regulations and that the property owner would be able to sell or re-mortgage their property without any difficulty.

What is the procedure for Regularisation?

The first step will be to submit a regularisation application form to us along with the relevant fee.

Then you will need to call us to arrange an inspection of the work carried out. Depending on the type of work that was carried out you may need to expose some of the work, for inspection or testing.

Once the work has been inspected and where the Building Control Authority inspector can confirm that it complies with the relevant requirements of the building regulations then a regularisation certificate will be issued.

If you have carried out work to your property which is unauthorised and you do not try and rectify the situation, then a Contravention Notice/Compliance Notice will/may be issued, which will mean you will be unable to sell or re-mortgage your property and/or you could also be taken to court and prosecuted.

As the Building Control Authority we can take enforcement action under the Building Act 1984 ( as amended by the Building Safety Act 2022) for any controlled works carried out without the submission of a Building Regulation Application, where one was required, in the past ten years.

If you need any further information on unauthorised works and the regularisation procedure, feel free to contact us at buildingcontrol@preston.gov.uk.

 

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