Building Regulations

Difference between building regulations and planning permission

It is generally realised that a form of permission is required for building work or alterations of properties. However, it may not always be clear how the planning and building regulations approval regimes differ. 

You may also have responsibilities under the construction health and safety regulations. 

Building regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.

For many types of building work, separate permission under both regimes (separate processes) will be required. For other building work, such as internal alterations, buildings regulations approval will probably be needed, but planning permission may not be. If you are in any doubt you should contact your local planning authority or a building control body.

If you are carrying out, or having construction or building work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and may have other duties as well under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). Although a domestic client does not have duties under CDM 2015, those who work for them on construction projects will.