Use the table of contents to navigate your way around the page.

We are LABC Registered Partners*.

If Planning Direct has submitted your planning application, we’re happy to offer you 10% off your building regulations application!

*as LABC Registered Partners, we have a close working relationship with a dedicated building control surveyor who knows the quality of our work. This helps us to expedite the process for all our clients across England and Wales. It also enable us to stay up-to-date with the latest building regulations, including the 2022 updates. In this way, we can eliminate a lot of the guesswork and experimentation you may encounter with designers who are still behind the curve.  


Building regulations are a series of national rules that apply to all new building work* and certain changes of use. The rules cover a range of technical and construction-related matters such as structure, fire safety, ventilation and security. 

*You’ll find the answer to the question “what does new building work include?” further down this page.

The main purpose of building regulations is to deliver good quality buildings that are safe and healthy. Because of this, they are taken very seriously by local councils and the government and it’s important that you follow the rules.

If you’re conducting building works, you’ll normally need to submit a building regulations application to your local council. This is mostly made up of detailed, construction drawings. These are technical, detailed construction drawings (with notes and annotations) that show how your development complies with all the rules.

Planning Direct can prepare, submit and manage your building regulations application from start to finish. Contact us today to find out more, our initial advice is free of charge.


Building regulations are different to and separate from planning, although closely related. Your local council will have a building control department – responsible for building regulations applications – and a separate planning department – responsible for planning and listed building consent applications.

You can find out more about planning applications and listed building consent applications using the buttons below.

The need for planning consent and/or building regulations approval will depend on the details and circumstances of your new building work or change of use. You can find out more about what sorts of changes require planning permission by clicking on the “planning applications” button above.

Where planning permission is required, you should normally obtain this before making your building regulations applications. You should also be aware that obtaining planning permission for your works does not guarantee the receipt of building regulations approval (and vice versa).


Planning Direct prepares, submits and manages full plans building regulations applications for domestic development in England and Wales only. 

You can find out more about the benefits of submitting a full plans application further down this page. 

Our service covers the following types of domestic development:

  • New houses (1-2 storeys)
  • New flat blocks
  • Subdivision of existing houses to multiple houses or flats
  • Domestic extensions (1-2 storeys)
  • Loft, garage and basement conversions
  • Domestic outbuildings including workshops and garages.

Our full plans applications are accompanied by the following key documents and information:

  • Detailed drawings, including floorplans, services layouts, elevations and sections (with full dimensions)
  • Detailed method statements and technical specifications – e.g. what insulation is to be used in which component and how it will be fitted – including component detail drawings, i.e. instructional drawings
  • Structural element details, e.g. identifying the location and specifications of beams, floors, stairs and opening
  • Essential calculations, e.g. regarding fire resistance and thermal values 

Planning Direct’s management of the application will include working with building control to discuss and agree any changes to the design spec that are required to achieve compliance with building regulations. We will always discuss suggested alterations with you first and obtain your agreement before any changes are made to your plans. 

Once you’ve received your approval from building control, your project manager or lead contractor will be responsible for reporting progress to building control. Once work is complete, you’ll automatically be issued a completion notice. 

Get in touch using the button below or call us on 01473 407911 if you need assistance with your building regulations applications.


For the purposes of building regulations, new building work includes all of the following:

  • Construction of a new building
  • Extension or alteration of an existing building
  • New services and fittings such as hot water cylinders, cavity insulation, drainage goods, windows and fuel burning appliances.

Most repairs, like-for-like replacements and maintenance works are exempt. 


In addition to new building work, building regulations apply to certain changes of use. This is because different uses can be subject to different requirements. 

For example, if you change the use of a building from an office to a house it will need to meet stricter rules. This is also true if you are converting a single house to flats.

You can find out more about getting planning permission for a change of use using the button below.

Remember: depending on what it is, you may need both planning permission and building regulations approval for your change of use.


You need to submit a building regulations application if you are carrying out new building work or if you are making certain changes of use to an existing building (no building works involved).

There is only one exception: the building work is minor and it is being carried out by someone who’s registered with a competent person scheme. This is often the case with replacement doors and windows, for example.

The owner of the property where new building work or relevant changes of use are carried out is responsible for ensuring compliance with building regulations. 


There are three main types of building regulations application, each with their own pros and cons. 

Currently, Planning Direct can only assist with full plans applications.

Type 1: Full plans

This is where you submit full, detailed drawings (or plans) of the building work before you commence. The plans will aim to demonstrate compliance will all relevant building regulations. 

If the plans do comply, a notice of approval will be issued by building control. You can then carry out the work in accordance with the plans. Your local council will carry out inspections whilst the work is in progress to ensure the plans are being followed. 

This is considered the safest type of application as – provided the plans are followed – there is no danger that you will fall foul of the regulations at any stage of the build. This removes the risk of facing costly and lengthy enforcement action and rebuilding. 

You can find out more about dealing with enforcement action using the button below.

There are some additional benefits to this approach. One benefit is that you will have a detailed specification of the work meaning you can accurately estimate project costs (including materials and labour costs). On top of that, if you instruct your builder to follow approved building regulations full plans and anything goes wrong, they’ll normally be responsible for putting it right.  

Type 2: Building notice

This is where you simply give notice to building control that you intend to commence building work. You can start work 2 days after giving notice and no plans are required at all. 

Your local council will carry out inspections of the building work as it progresses. If they find that your work does not comply with building regulations either during or after construction, you will be required to put this right. In some cases, this could require total demolition and building again from scratch.

On the face of it, this is the quickest and cheapest type of application as you don’t need to prepare plans or wait for building control to assess them. You just need to serve that simple notice and you can then get on and build (after waiting 2 days).

However, if your work is found not to comply with building regulations, it’s likely that you will spend a substantial amount of time and money putting things right. 

Building regulations are varied, detailed and complex. They’re also updated relatively often. In our opinion, the risk of a very small construction error leading to a very large building regulations problem is not one worth taking, especially if you’ve already invested considerable funds getting your planning permission. For this reason, we always recommend full plans to our clients!

Type 3: Regularisation

This is where you apply for building regulations approval for work you’ve already completed without the necessary approval. This route mainly provides an option to people who find themselves dealing with old, unauthorised building works. 

If you are looking to start new building works, regularisation is NOT an alternative to full plans or building notice applications. You could be prosecuted and issued with an unlimited fine if works are carried out at your property in breach of building regulations.

If you need assistance with a current or future project, contact us today using the button below.


The government has published some online guidance about building control and building regulations, although this is quite limited. Access it here:

Back to top