Building control

Difference between building regulations and planning permission

You are likely to have heard of the term planning permission and what is involved. However, the process for gaining approval under the building regulations is different.

Planning permission is concerned with:

  • the correct use of land
  • the appearance and scale of the proposed building
  • the impact that the development will have on the neighbouring properties and general environment

Building regulations are concerned with the technical requirements associated with the construction process, including:

  • the way in which the building is constructed
  • structural stability
  • means of escape
  • fire precautions
  • weather resistance
  • energy conservation
  • sound insulation
  • access and facilities for all users

For many types of building work, both planning permission and building regulations approval is needed. You will need to be apply for them separately.

There may be instances where building work will require buildings regulations approval, but not planning permission. Similarly, there will be occasions when building regulations approval is not needed but planning permission is.

For more information on the differences between building regulations approval and planning permission, view our guidance.

Find out if you need planning permission.

Find out if you need building regulations approval.

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