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December 12 General Election

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Where you see this symbol FAQ you can submit a question and we will add the answer to our pool of Frequently Asked Questions for the benefit of other users. Whilst using the website if you come across a term or word you do not understand, then you can submit it to our glossary and we will provide an explanation, which again will help other users. We try to use plain language where possible and your feedback will help. Thank you.

Your question Answer
What is the difference between Building Regulations and Planning permission?

The legislation for both is very important in development but is fundamentally different.

Building Regulations consider the construction of the proposed work and how to comply with the Regulations. They represent a minimum standard

Town Planning legislation (planning permission) principally deals with the appearance of new building work and how it will impact on the surrounding residents and general locality.

How long do I have to complete the building works once work has commenced on site?

Once work has commenced, you have an unlimited time limit to complete the work. However, it is strongly recommended that you complete building work as soon as possible to prevent the deterioration of exposed materials (i.e. insulation, untreated timber, etc) and save unnecessary delays should the need arise to sell your property.  

How long do I have to start work after my Building Regulations application has been fully approved?

Once you have received full approval you have a time limit of three years for works to start on site. If this time elapses, a new application may be required to be submitted to Local Authority.

Building Notices automatically lapse after 3 years.

Can you give me the name of a good architect or builder?

We are not permitted to give you any names of Architects or Builders.

Choose an established builder and ask to talk to previous clients - find out if they were happy with the work, whether it was started and completed on time and if the final bill was in line with the estimate. A builder with a reputation to preserve is more likely to be around if you have problems later.

Never choose a builder on the basis of a low estimate alone. Good builders who refuse to cut corners will seldom be able to compete on price with those that do.

Avoid builders who offer VAT free deals in return for cash payments.

For further information, see our guidance 'Choosing a Reputable Contractor'.

Can I get a Building Regs form online?

Yes, please select the following link: Building Regulation Application Form. If you cannot find the form you are looking for, please contact us.

How can I get access to the Building Regulations documents?

The documents can be accessed from the Planning Portal website. Click here to access all the Approved Documents

Do I need approval for electrical work?

In most cases yes, when the work is carried out to a dwelling including outbuildings and garden. For further information refer to the guidance page or contact us directly.

Do I need Building Regulations approval to install fittings and appliances or carry out drainage work?

Gas boilers must be installed by a person/contractor registered with the Gas Safe self certification scheme. Self certification schemes also exist for solid fuel and oil fired installations or alternatively, a Building Regulations application can be submitted for these works.   All drainage work (above and below ground) in connection with a building including the installation of a sink, bath, shower, toilet etc, requires an application.

Do I need Building Regulations approval to construct a boundary wall?

No, not at present but be aware of the civil requirements of the Party Wall Act. For details please download the Party Wall Act 1996 Explanatory Booklet.

Do I need Building Regulations approval to underpin my house?

Yes, this is a structural alteration.