Crows Nest

Planning permission and building regulations

What are building regulations?

Building regulations are a set of national standards designed to ensure that domestic and commercial properties of all kinds are safe and habitable for the people who use them. As well as giving requirements for the actual structure of a building they also govern things like a building’s energy efficiency and the facilities it provides for disabled people.

If you’d like more information on whether or not the work you intend to carry out on your home or business requires building regulations approval, please visit the government’s planning portal

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is a set of national rules and guidelines which are designed to protect and enhance the way our cities and communities develop. Planning permission in your area will be governed by your local planning authority and they will take into account a range of environmental and social factors when deciding whether or not to grant permission for the building work you wish to undertake.

If you’re planning to make any significant alteration to the exterior of your home, then the chances are you’ll require planning permission as well as building regulations approval.

If you’d like more information on whether or not the work you intend to carry out on your home or business requires planning permission, you might like to try the interactive house guide tool on the government’s planning portal. Please note that this tool requires Flash to run on your computer. You can download it for free here if you don’t already have it.

What’s the difference between building regulations and planning permission?

Building regulations govern the way in which a building is designed and constructed, whereas planning permission governs its appearance, its use and the impact it has on the environment around it.

>Depending on what kind of work you’re planning to have done on your house or business premises, you may require both building regulations and planning permission – both of which have a separate approval process. For internal alterations, you may only require building regulations approval but it is very important to check first before going ahead with any work.

For more information, contact your local planning authority. To find out who your local planning authority is, you can use a handy tool on the government’s planning portal website

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