Northern Ireland building regulations
Under primary legislation from the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (amended in 1990 and 2009), the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland were empowered to write building regulations for certain matters (as defined in the Order). The current regulations are the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, which came into operation on 31st October 2012.
These set out legal requirements intended to ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings. They are formulated by the Department of Finance and Personnel and administered by the district councils.
 Role of district councils
The district councils are responsible for:
- The approval of plans. Plans must be approved in advance for works to erect, alter or extend a building, to install services, fittings or works to a building or to materially change the use of a building.
- Relaxation of building regulations requirements in certain circumstances.
- Enforcement of building regulations requirements.
 Technical booklets
The Department of Finance and Personnel produce technical guidance booklets in support of the regulations. It is not necessary to follow the methods detailed in the booklets but the district council must be satisfied that the building regulations requirements have been met.
 Building regulations appeals
There are four types of appeals available against a particular decision from the district council:
- Rejection of plans.
- Serving a contravention notice.
- Refusal to relax building regulations.
- Decisions relating to materials unsuitable for permanent buildings.
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