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Building work: check the approval you need

Building work needing formal approval

In general, most building work needs formal approval and the type of work covered includes the:

  • Erection of a new building or re-erection of an existing building
  • Extension of a building
  • Material alteration of a building
  • Material change of use of a building
  • Installation, alteration or extension of a controlled service or fitting to a building

Typical examples of work needing approval


  • Home extensions such as for a kitchen, bedroom, lounge
  • Loft conversions
  • Internal structural alterations, such as the removal of a load-bearing wall or partition, installation of baths, showers, WCs which involve new drainage or waste plumbing and installation of new heating appliances other than electric
  • New chimneys or flues
  • Underpinning of foundations
  • Alterations that affect the building's means of escape or fire precautions
  • Altered openings for new windows in roofs or walls
  • Replacing roof coverings unless exactly 'like for like' repair
  • Installation of cavity insulation
  • Erection of new buildings that are not exempt
  • Access improvements for disabled people

Exemptions to the building regulations

There are certain buildings and work that are exempt from control. This is generally because they are buildings controlled by other legislation and include:

  • Buildings not frequented by people
  • Greenhouses and agricultural buildings
  • Temporary buildings (less than 28 days)
  • Small detached buildings

Planning permission

Please be aware that planning permission might be also be required. Check if it is required for your project. 

Further information

Contact us

This list is not exhaustive and we strongly suggest that you contact us to discuss your project before undertaking the work.

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