Many prospective self-builders don’t know the difference between planning permission and building regulations when they first embark on their project – but why would they?
Unless you’ve undertaken major building works before, it’s not something you are likely to have come up against. If you are building your own home from scratch you will need to understand the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval.
Planning permission defines the siting of your project, its location, the height and size of the building. It also looks at the percentage of the plot you want to build on, the appearance and the type of materials to be used. Building Regulations approval does not cover the same ground, but ensures that the work carried out is built to a safe standard. Regular inspections are carried out on site to ensure this is the case.
Work on existing properties and permitted development
You may not need planning permission if you are undertaking a loft conversion, a garage, an extension or internal alterations. Minor projects can be done under “permitted development” but these may be restricted or removed totally. Your local council will be able to advise you on this and may have relevant information on their website.
If you are planning to undertake any sort of alterations to a listed building or you live in a conservation area then you will require Listed Building Consent. This is different legislation to Planning Permission or Building Regulation approval. In this case, advice can be sought from the Conservation Officer at your local council.
Building Regulations approval is required for all new buildings, extensions, conversions, some internal alterations, some conservatories, porches and garages.
Always seek advice from your local council as to exactly what permissions/approvals you need before starting any work. In a worst case scenario, you could be made to put things back as they were! You can apply for retrospective planning permission but the council would treat as any other application and is not obliged to grant it. In a similar way you can apply for retrospective Building Regulation approval which is called “regularisation”.
All the information you need initially to help you understand the difference between planning permission and building regulations can be found at The Planning Portal. If you have any queries or are struggling to make sense of it all, please Contact Us.