Building control regulation approval

Domestic buildings exempt from building control

Certain buildings are exempt from obtaining Building Regulation approval: these exemptions are illustrated below. However, if any of these buildings receives its electricity from a source located inside a dwelling an application for that electrical work will be required unless it's being self certified by a registered competent person.

These exemptions are:

  • Small detached single storey buildings such as garages, sheds and greenhouses which contain no sleeping accommodation and which are:
    • not more than 30m sq in floor area and;
    • built of substantially non-combustible materials if the building is less than 1m from the boundary (this does not apply if the floor area is not more than 15m sq)
  • A greenhouse or conservatory built at ground level with a floor area of not more than 30m sq. Separation to remain between conservatory and house i.e. doors or windows, (glazing at low level or in doors and sidelights must be carried out in safety glass as recommended by the manufacturer or supplier).
  • A carport open on at least two sides, the floor area of which does not exceed 30m sq.
  • A porch where the floor area does not exceed 30m sq. Separation to remain between porch and house.

Carrying out any of the above building work can lead to contraventions of building control regulations. Examples of where this may occur and which you should consider are: 

One or more of the above buildings being: 

  • erected in such a position that would impede the emergency egress from an escape window. Especially ladder access to secondary means of escape windows either at first floor level or to loft conversions;
  • built over a sewer or drain without adequate protection being provided to either the building or the sewer/drain;
  • built so that it encloses extract fans, flues etc;
  • erected close to or on the boundary. Party Wall agreements, which also cover proximity of any foundations, may have to be considered.

Other examples of work which could cause problems with your main building and do not come within the scope of the Building Control Authority are:

  • removing a mature tree* near to your building or neighbouring buildings, where the soil is of shrinkable clay;
  • adding floor screed to a balcony which could reduce the height of a safety barrier and/or increase loading;
  • removing self closing devices on doors designed to protect an escape route of travel;
  • removing a non-loadbearing partition/wall which is designated for fire safety.

* some trees are legally protected by preservation orders or they are in conservation areas.

You may need to apply for Planning Permission for any development. This is quite different from Building Regulations and has to be applied for separately. Always contact the Planning Officer to discuss proposed development of any size or nature. This contact should be made prior to discussions relating to any Building Regulation application.

Building control


Tel: 020 8313 4313

Fax: 020 8313 4604

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH