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Building work needing formal approval

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

  • Erection of a new building or re-erection of an existing building
  • Extension of a building
  • Material alteration of a building (affecting structural stability, fire safety and disabled access)
  • Material change of use of a building
  • Installation, alteration or extension of a controlled service or fitting to a building

If you want more information about making an application visit our applications page

Typical examples of work needing approval

  • Domestic extensions
  • 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, installation of new heating appliances
  • 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
  • Replacement windows
  • Installation of cavity installation
  • Erection of new buildings that are not exempt
  • Access improvements for disabled people
  • Changing the use of premises, for example a hotel to a dwelling

Building work not needing formal approval

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 - depending on the boundary position
  • Greenhouses and agricultural buildings
  • Temporary buildings - less than 28 days
  • Small detached buildings - less than 30 m² and does not include sleeping accommodation

If you are in any doubt please contact the building control team with details of your particular question.