Determinations and appeals are two procedures which provide for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government or the Welsh Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government, as appropriate, to adjudicate in disputes between people carrying out building work subject to the Building Regulations and a building control body (i.e. either a local authority or a private sector approved inspector).
The purpose of and procedures for determinations, and for appeals against a local authority's refusal to relax or dispense with a requirement, are distinctly different and it is important if you are contemplating using them to have a clear understanding of each.
Before proceeding with an application for a determination, or an application to relax or dispense with a requirement, it is important that you should try to reach agreement by discussing with the local authority or approved inspector the issues which are causing the difficulty over achieving compliance.
If appropriate, and if you have not already done so, you may wish to seek independent professional advice to assist these discussions. Only if agreement cannot be reached should you then consider whether the correct course of action is to proceed with an application to the Secretary of State/Welsh Ministers for a determination, or to apply to the local authority for a relaxation/dispensation (with the option of appealing to the Secretary of State/Welsh Ministers in the event of a refusal).