This section provides you with general information to help you comply with the Garden Building Regulations when constructing a new outbuilding within the boundaries of an existing property, such as a summerhouse, studio or shed
If the Regulations do apply to the building then it must be built to reasonable standards.
The building regulations are made up of procedural and technical provisions. Some works are exempt from the whole of the regulations, others are only exempt from certain aspects.
Even if exempt from the regulations, work may still require planning permission.
If you are carrying out building work personally, it is very important that you understand how the building regulatory system and material applies to your situation as you are responsible for making sure that the work complies with the building regulations.
Garden Building Regulations might be needed.
If you are employing a builder, the responsibility will usually be theirs – but you should confirm this at the very beginning. You should also bear in mind that if you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations.
Some kinds of building projects are exempt from the regulations, however generally if you are planning to carry out ‘building work’ as defined in regulation 3 of the building regulations, then it must comply with the building regulations. This means that the regulations will probably apply if you want to:
- Put up a new building
- Extend or alter an existing one
- Provide services and/or fittings in a building such as washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows, and fuel burning appliances of any type.
The works themselves must meet the relevant technical requirements in the building regulations and they must not make other fabric, services and fittings less compliant than they were before – or dangerous. For example, the provision of replacement double-glazing must not make compliance worse in relation to means of escape, air supply for combustion appliances and their flues and ventilation for health.
They may also apply to certain changes of use of an existing building. This is because the change of use may result in the building as a whole no longer complying with the requirements which will apply to its new type of use, and so having to be upgraded to meet additional requirements specified in the regulations for which building work may also be required.
In summary, the following types of project amount to ‘building work’:
- The erection or extension of a building
- The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is controlled under the regulations
- An alteration project involving work which will temporarily or permanently affect the ongoing compliance of the building, service or fitting with the requirements relating to structure, fire, or access to and use of building
- The underpinning of the foundations of a building
- Work affecting the thermal elements, energy status or energy performance of a building.
For more information around Garden Building regulations please visit https://www.planningportal.co.uk/applications/building-control-applications/building-control/building-regulations/when-you-need-approval or contact us.
Please note that the Planning portal is based on government guidelines and all information given pertains to England only. Rules and regulations may vary in other parts of the UK.
Difference between building regulations and planning permission and why we have them.
It is generally realised that a form of permission is required for building work or alterations of properties. However, it may not always be clear how the planning and building regulations approval regimes differ.
Building regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.
Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.
For many types of building work, separate permission under both regimes (separate processes) will be required. For other building work, such as internal alterations, building regulations approval will probably be needed, but planning permission may not be. If you are in any doubt you should contact your local planning authority or a building control body.