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Useful Information | Submit-a-Plan FAQs | Approved Documents

What are the Building Regulations?

If you are considering undertaking any development you must consider whether the project will need to have a planning permission and/or a Building Regulations application. These are two separate applications and must be applied for individually.

Building Regulations are national standards for England and Wales which apply to most types of buildings, whether in the home or a commercial development. They ensure that the built environment in which we all live is a safe place. The regulations also ensure that adequate access and facilities are provided for people with disabilities and include requirements for conservation of fuel and power.


There are a number of building types and extensions that are termed exempt, which do not need formal approval or an application to be submitted within the Building Regulations; these are summarised below.


The construction of a new attached carport, open on at least 2 sides, would not normally require Building Regulations if it is less than 30m2 in floor area. Construction of a non combustible detached garage less then 30m2 would not normally require Building Regulations approval.


Construction of a small detached building such as a garden shed or summerhouse in the garden will not normally require Building Regulations if the floor area of the building is less than 15m2. If floor area is between 15 & 30m2 you will not normally require Building Regulations providing that the building is either at least 1m from the boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible material.

Windows & doors

If you want to replace broken, fogged double glazing units, rotten sashes or rotten sections of the main frame members, Building Regulations will not apply, providing they are the same size and installed by a 'competent' installer, see the section on Competent Persons Schemes for an explanation.


Construction of a porch built at ground level of less than 30m2 in floor area is normally exempt from the need to make an application provided that the glazing and any fixed electrical installation complies with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations. Work on the roof If you want to carry out repairs or recover a pitched or flat roof of an area that is less than 25% you will not normally need to submit a Building Regulation application.


A conservatory built at ground level and less than 30m2 in floor area is exempt provided that glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations. Full details of exemptions can be found in Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations. Alternatively, for clarification on whether your project would be exempt contact your LABC office who will be able to advise you.

Manhole drains

If you wish to repair or replace an existing drainpipe, manhole or associated fitting, approval under the Building Regulations is not normally required if the replacement is like for like.

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