Building regulations

The council has a legal duty under Building Regulations to protect people in or about buildings.  If you are considering building work (including new buildings, extensions, replacement windows, installation of boilers, removal of internal walls, re-roofing, etc), the chances are your proposals will be subject to control under the Buildings Regulations.  You can check this and obtain further advice by contacting the Building Control service.

The Building Regulations are approved by Parliament and manage the minimum standards of design and building work required for the construction of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings. They also specify the definition of what is regarded as "building work" and the procedures for ensuring that it meets the required standards.

Building Regulations ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings, by providing functional requirements for building design and construction.  In addition, the Regulations promote conservation of natural resources in buildings and ensure that buildings are usable by all people.

Builders and developers are required by law to obtain building control approval – an independent check that the Building Regulations have been complied with.

Fees are payable for the service and Building Control will offer advice before your work is carried out.

What are the Building Regulations?

The Building Act 1984 allows for the creation by the Secretary of State of regulations to control the minimum standard of building work.

Building Regulations ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings, by providing functional requirements for building design and construction. In addition, the Regulations promote conservation of natural resources in buildings and ensure that buildings are usable by all people.

The regulations are referred to as the Building Regulations and take the form of functional requirements that must be met.

There are 14 parts (A-H and J-P) to these requirements and they cover subjects including fire safety, structure, drainage, ventilation, energy conservation and access and facilities for people with disabilities.  The requirements are conveyed in broad, functional terms in order to give designers and builders the maximum amount of flexibility in preparing their plans.  For further information and guidance on the Building Regulations and procedures for submitting applications please visit the Planning Portal

Each of the 14 parts is supported by a separate, approved document, which contains practical and technical guidance on ways in which the requirements can be met.  Copies can be viewed at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The principle behind the regulations being in functional form is to allow designers and builders flexibility in the methods and designs they employ.

The approved documents are only one method of complying with the requirements, but have become almost the standards to be adhered to. Other guidance does exist on good building practice, British Standards and Codes of Practice being examples. With the thrust to the European Community, more and more codes are being replaced by European standards.  Proposed amendments are currently available for consultation and persons wishing to know more can visit  the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website.

See all the Building Regulation approved documents on the DCLG website.

  • Part A – Structure
  • Part B – Fire safety
  • Part C – Site preparation and resistance to moisture
  • Part D – Toxic substances
  • Part E – Resistance to the passage of sound
  • Part F – Ventilation
  • Part G – Hygiene
  • Part H – Drainage and waste disposal / Sewers protocol
  • Part J – Heat producing appliances / Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • Part K – Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • Part L – Conservation of fuel and power
  • Part M – Access to and use of buildings
  • Part N – Glazing – safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
  • Part P – Electrical Safety
  • Reg 7 – Materials and workmanship
  • Approved Document - Basement for Dwellings

Last updated: 27th May 2014

Elsewhere in Planning and buildings

Can't find what you are looking for? Try the A to Z