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The difference between planning permission and building control

Planning permission and building control

Talking to our clients we realised that often people confuse planning permission with building control, sometimes thinking they are the same thing. In this small article I will explain what each of them is and when they are needed.

Planning permission and building control are not the same thing. This is often something that gets tangled in people’s minds, but here are the differences:

Planning permission is simply the go ahead to build your garden room, granny annex or whatever you had in mind. It must be obtained exclusively through the local council. In the majority of cases, if respecting a few rules, planning permission is not required. Though, if you live in an area of natural outstanding beauty or in a grade listed building, things are more complicated and planning permission may be required. You can read more about it in our article 7 garden office or summer house planning permission rules to keep in mind when building a garden room.

Building control, is there to make sure that the building is structurally safe. Most people believe that the certificate can only be done through the City Council, but fortunately that is not the case. There are several companies out there which can issue a building regulation certificate, making the whole process much clearer, faster and often cheaper (especially if the value of your garden room exceeds £25,000). Generally, when building a garden room, you will need to have a building regulations compliance certification only if the room area is over 30 metres square. There are though some exceptions, but that requires another article (it is on my to do list!).

To conclude, planning permission is the permission to build what you want to build where you want it and can be obtained only from your local the council. In most cases when building a garden room, planning permission is not needed if respecting a few rules.

Building control will make sure that your building is structurally safe. It can be obtained through the city council or using private companies. In general, on buildings under 30 square metres building control is not needed.


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