Last edited 14 May 2014

Statutory approvals for buildings

Other than planning permission, the main statutory approval that will be required on a building project is building regulations approval. The Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible for building regulations (from 2012, Wales will have the power to bring in its own regulations, which will then supercede CLG regulations), which exist to ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings, and the energy efficiency of buildings. The regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings in England and Wales, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.

Building regulations approvals can be sought either from the building control department of the local authority or from an approved inspector.

A series of approved documents provide general guidance on how to comply with the building regulations:

  • Part A: Structural safety.
  • Part B: Fire safety.
  • Part C: Resistance to contaminants and moisture.
  • Part D: Toxic substances.
  • Part E: Resistance to sound.
  • Part F: Ventilation.
  • Part G: Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency.
  • Part H: Drainage and waste disposal.
  • Part J: Heat producing appliances.
  • Part K: Protection from falling.
  • Part L: Conservation of fuel and power.
  • Part M: Access to and use of buildings.
  • Part N: Glazing safety.
  • Part P: Electrical safety.

The approved documents can be downloaded at the Planning Portal and more information is available on the Communities and Local Government: Building Regulations website.

Other statutory requirements might include:

Local planning authorities are required to undertake statutory consultations on proposed development as set out in Article 10 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995. Annex A contains full schedule of possible statutory and non-statutory consultees and the circumstance under which they should be consulted. For more information see statutory authorities.

NB the Penfold Review has made proposals for streamlining non-planning consents, some of which are now being implemented by the government.

See also: Licensing and Statutory obligations.

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