When do I need building regulations approval?

You may need building regulation approval even if you don't need planning permission.


  • Conservatories
  • Porches
  • Carports
  • Covered yards and covered ways
  • Detached buildings
  • Agricultural buildings
  • Erecting a new building
  • Extending an existing building
  • Converting a loft
  • Underpinning foundations
  • Converting a barn or domestic garage
  • Providing or extending an electrical supply *
  • Replacing windows (unless using a self-certification scheme such as FENSA or CERTASS)
  • Providing fire safety work (mainly commercial buildings)
  • Providing disability work (for example providing a level access shower or a lift)
  • Removing a load bearing wall
  • Installing new doors or window openings
  • Installing sanitary and washing facilities/alterations to drainage *
  • Installing heating appliances and oil storage tanks *
  • Installing renewable energy (for example solar panels or wind turbines) *
  • Erecting new chimneys, flue liners or flues *
  • Altering structural not considered a repair (advice given in each case)
  • Installing cavity wall insulation *
  • Altering roof spaces
  • Re-roofing pitched or flat roofs *
  • Replacing shop fronts
  • Providing remedial work to a thermal element (for example renewing external render or re tiling/slating of your roof) *
  • Installing air conditioning units *
  • Altering a listed building

* unless you're using a contractor registered under the Competent Person Scheme

  • A house, flat or maisonette
  • Altering the number of dwelling units within a building
  • Altering the number bedrooms within a dwelling
  • A hotel or boarding house
  • An institutional building, such as nursing home
  • A public building, such as sports hall, community centre
  • The building is no longer exempt where previously it was

Visit the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) website for frequently asked questions for homeowners.

If you're still unsure if you need building regulation approval, you can book an free one hour appointment with a duty surveyor to talk through your proposal or application. Email buildcon@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 304343 to book an appointment (available Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm and Fridays 8.30am to 4.30pm).

We can also help co-ordinate your application with other services, such as planning, highways, environmental health and fire safety.