The difference between Planning and Building Regulations approval

You may require either just planning permission or building regulations for your project, or both.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is the granting of permission by local planning authorities (usually the planning department of the district or borough council) to proceed with a proposed development.

Do I need planning permission?

Usually, you do not need if you are;,

  • making internal alterations or extending such as new staircases, bathrooms or kitchens
  • rewiring
  • some loft and garage conversions

However, If your home is listed or in a conservation area, you may need listed building consent.


What is usually considered when applying for Planning permission?

  • location of site
  • siting of property
  • building height and size
  • percentage of plot
  • local policies
  • appearance
  • materials
  • colour match of bricks
  • colour and type of tiles

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are detailed regulations to ensure that new buildings, conversions, renovations and extensions are going to be safe, healthy and high-performing. So, once planning permission has been issued (or if not required) then in order to carry out the work, where required, building regulation approval has to be put into place for the work to be carried out accordingly.

The building regs cover many areas including structural integrity, fire protection, accessibility, energy performance, acoustic performance, electrical and gas safety. They also lay standards for drains, ventilation, protection against the ingress of water and so on.

Do I need building regulations approval?

Building regulations usually apply if you want to:

  • Put up a new building
  • Extend or alter an existing one
  • Provide services and/or fittings in a building such as washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows, and fuel burning appliances of any type.

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