Do I need building regulations approval?
The Building Control Team works to ensure that the minimum standards are achieved to protect the health and safety of people in and around buildings.
If you are considering carrying out work which involves the erection, extension or alteration of a building, you must let us know.
On this page
When you need approval
Most building work requires approval under the Building Regulations 2010. These detail the minimum level of standards acceptable, in order to ensure health and safety, conservation of fuel and power, and access and facilities for the disabled.
In addition to construction and extension of buildings, you might also need building regulations approval for alteration projects, including:
- replacing fuse boxes and connected electrics
- installing a bathroom that will involve plumbing
- changing electrics near a bath or shower
- putting in a fixed air-conditioning system
- replacing windows and doors
- replacing roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs
- installing or replace a heating system
- adding extra radiators to a heating system.
Applying for building regulations approval
If you’ve already started work or completed your project without submitting full plans or a building notice, you will need to apply for retrospective approval by completing a regularisation application.
If you are registered disabled there is no fee to pay for either a Full Plans application or a Building Notice. Simply download and print the relevant form and ensure your registration number is included.
Building near to un-mapped public sewers
With effect from 1 October 2011, sections of sewer pipes or drains which are shared with another person’s property, or run through another person’s land and which have been privately owned were transferred by legislation to become “public sewers” which are owned and maintained by the sewerage companies.
The location of these newly adopted sewers will not be shown on the official “map of sewers” and their position in relation to proposed building projects will be largely unknown. Consequently, applicants will not be alerted of these sewers by the usual consultations with the sewer authority which take place when proposals are being considered for planning permission or Building Regulations purposes.
If you suspect your proposal may involve a public sewer in either of the following ways, you should consult with the relevant authority BEFORE commencing work to minimise any potential delays:
- Your proposal involves building over, or within 3 metres of, a public sewer, or
- You wish to make a connection to, or alter the pipework or access to, a public sewer
For Southern Water area contact:
Southern Water Services Ltd
Telephone: 0330 3030119
For Thames Water area contact:
Rose Kiln Court
Telephone: 0845 850 2777
When you don't need approval
The following work does not require approval:
- Class 1 - Buildings controlled under other legislation
- Any building in which explosives are manufactured or stored under a licence granted under the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005.
- Any building (other than a building containing a dwelling or a building used for office or canteen accommodation) erected on a site in respect of which a licence under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 is for the time being in force.
- A building included in the schedule of monuments maintained under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
- Class 2 - Buildings not frequented by people
A detached building:
- into which people do not normally go
- into which people go only occasionally and then only to inspect or maintain fixed plant or machinery
unless any point of such a building is less than one and a half times its height from:
- any point of such a building into which people can or do normally go
- the nearest point of the boundary of the curtilage of that building, whichever is the nearer.
- Class 3 - Greenhouses and agricultural buildings
- A greenhouse (subject to paragraph 3 below).
- A building used (subject to paragraph 3 below) for agriculture, or a building principally for the keeping of animals, provided in each case that:
- no part of the building is used as a dwelling
- no point of the building is less than one and a half times its height from any point of a building which contains sleeping accommodation
- the building is provided with a fire exit which is not more than 30 metres from any point in the building.
3. The descriptions of buildings in points 1 and 2 don't include a greenhouse or building used for agriculture if the principal purpose for which they are used is retailing, packing or exhibiting. 4. In paragraph 2 “agriculture” includes horticulture, fruit growing, the growing of plants for seed and fish farming.
- Class 4 - Temporary buildings
A building which is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days.
- Class 5 - Ancillary buildings
- A building on a site, being a building which is intended to be used only in connection with the disposal of buildings or building plots on that site.
- A building on the site of construction or civil engineering works, which is intended to be used only during the course of those works and contains no sleeping accommodation.
- A building, other than a building containing a dwelling or used as an office or showroom, erected for use on the site of a mine or quarry.
- Class 6 - Small detached buildings
- A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building.
- a) no point of which is less than one metre from the boundary of its curtilage; or
b) which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.
- 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
- a) its floor area does not exceed 30m2; and
b) 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 detached building, having a floor area which does not exceed 15m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation.
- Class 7 - Extensions
The extension of a 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 30m2, provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing satisfies the requirements of Part N Schedule 1.of the Approved Documents.
If work has been carried out in breach of building regulations, we can take enforcement action. This could involve a notice being issued for the building work to be taken down or removed. Alternatively, we can take action through the courts which could result in a fine.
Where possible, we will work with you or your builder to ensure that any works that have been carried out are rectified, to meet the required standards.
Further help and advice
Send us a message if you need further advice about building regulations or call us on 01256 845237.
Alternatively, you can come to the council offices where a member of the Building Control team will be available before 10am or after 3pm.
LABC Warranty works in partnership with Local Authority Building Control (LABC) to provide a complete range of developer services and warranties supporting construction and home builders from self builds to commercial developments. LABC works alongside building control surveyors to review developments in accordance with its technical standards ensuring the highest quality of buildings are created and maintained. Visit LABC’s website for further information - or you can contact them direct at:
Wirral CH41 5BX
T: 0845 054 0505
Renovating your property
If you are thinking of renovating your property, you may find our 'guide to renovating your property' useful.
The Competent Person Scheme
Competent person schemes are a way for tradespeople to prove their ability to carry out certain work to required standards.
Building control team
If you have an enquiry about building control, send a message to the Building Control Team.