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Approvals

Building regulations approval is required for a wide range of building works.

Demolishing a building

You don't need approval for:

  • buildings with an external size of less than 50m3 
  • extensions on a larger building that consists of an attached conservatory, shed or garage
  • buildings used solely as agricultural buildings 
  • work in occupied buildings where it is intended that it should continue to be occupied.

Any other demolitions will require consent. You should apply for a Demolition Notice. It may also be necessary to obtain consent under the Town and Country Planning Act before the building is demolished.

Building a conservatory

If all of the following conditions are met you do not need approval. Otherwise, yes.  

  • the internal floor area does not exceed 30m2
  • the roof is transparent or translucent (polycarbonate or similar material which allows light to pass through)
  • the conservatory is constructed at ground floor level
  • the conservatory is separated from the rest of the dwelling by a doors and/or windows and
  • glass in critical locations is safety glass. “Critical locations" means up to 1,500mm from floor level in doors and side panels, and up to 800mm from floor level in windows.

Building a detached domestic garage

You don't need approval if:

  • the garage does not exceed 30m2 and does not contain habitable accommodation
  • is at least one metre from the boundary of the property or
  • is built substantially of non-combustible material.

Building a porch

You don't need approval if:

  • the floor area does not exceed 30m2
  • a door is retained between the porch and the rest of the house
  • there is no drainage within the porch and
  • glazing below 800mm in windows and 1.5m in doors and sidelights is safety glazing
  • the structure does not cover outlets to boilers or other flues as well as the only ventilation openings to WC's and other rooms.

Building an attached domestic garage

You need approval. Fees are based on the size of the proposed structure. 

Extending a house

You need approval. Make either a Full Plans or Building Notice application

Making internal alterations to a house

You need approval if the alterations are structural. For example, removal or part removal of load bearing wall or chimney breast, altering the drainage system or altering anything that affects the means of escape in case in fire.

Making internal alterations to a shop, office or other workplace

You need approval. The Council will also consult with the Fire Authority.

Converting a house into flats or shops/offices into flats

You need approval even when internal alterations and/or extensions may not be intended. This is a ‘material change of use’ as defined in the Building Regulations.

Putting rooms in the roof space

You need approval. Often the nature of these works is quite complex and requires structural calculations and a complete assessment of the provisions for means of escape. It is, therefore, it is recommended that you use the Full Plans procedure.

Building a swimming pool

An external swimming pool, not covered by any structure, is exempt. However, caution should be exercised when siting it close to an existing structure. A swimming pool within an existing or proposed structure requires approval. Consent to discharge water from any swimming pool must be sought from the Water Authority, Thames Water.

Repairing garden or boundary walls

Approval is not required if the repairs are of a minor nature. Although the height of boundary walls may be restricted under the Town and Country Planning Act. Please get further advice.

Fitting replacement windows

You need approval to replace windows but not for just replacing broken glass. You should check with your installer to ensure that he is registered with FENSA.  If so, the installer can self certify compliance with the regulations. If you propose to do the works yourself or if your installer is not registered, then you or he must apply for building regulations.

Installing, altering or repairing a shop front

You need approval. Take care that you do not make the accessibility of your shop less suitable for disabled people.