What is the difference between planning permission and building control?

If you are in the UK and are looking to either construct a new building or alter an existing one, chances are that you will need some form of permission for the work to take place.

Usually, you would need permission from both the planning department as well as building control. And, in some instances, you may need the one and not the other.

Regardless of what kind of construction you’re thinking about undertaking, it is useful to know the difference between planning permission and building control and what they mean for you.

What are planning permission and building control?

The simplest way to explain planning permission and building control is that the are two individual forms of service which can determine the construction and appearance of buildings in the UK.

For most building work, two different applications are required for you to be granted permission for planning applications and building regulations. If you are looking to embark on a new build or alter an existing building structurally, building regulation consent will be needed. This deals with how the building is being constructed or altered. It is then up to planning permission as to whether the build is permitted.

Generally, all major building work will require planning permission from the local council. However, there is some work that may not need planning permission.

More about planning permission

It is the responsibility of your local authority to decide whether or not development – be it a new build or alterations – should go ahead. Planning controls the siting, design, location, layout, land uses and the appearance of a building project.

Your local authority will also assess whether the development you desire is in accordance with local and national policies, as well as if the development will cause harm to or impact neighbours and nearby amenities.

Small development projects do not always have to go through the full approval process. This is where permitted development becomes relevant.

Some notes on building control

Building control, also known as building regulations, cover the structural aspects of a development and progress throughout the construction process. Building control is carried out by a Building Control Body to ensure that any building work falls within building regulations. These regulations put a minimum standard in place for design, construction, and alterations.

During building control, your plans and their details will be reviewed, and the site of your construction work will be inspected as it progresses.

Building regulations are intended to conserve energy, safeguard health and safety and to ensure the provision of access and facilities for disabled people.

Get expert advice when it comes to planning permission and building control from Plan It. Contact us here.