What's the difference between planning permission and building control?

architects plans

We would like to run through the difference between planning and building control, many people get confused about these two permissions. It's important to find out whether you need these before you start your project. Some will need both, some will need one of them and other projects may need neither.

If you project meets policy, your planning permission will be provided by your local council.

Project that do not usually require planning permission are:

  • Some Extensions
  • Some loft conversions
  • most internal alterations
  • some garages

If your home is either, in a conservation area or a listed building, you're likely to require listed building consent. You will need to talk to the councils conservation department.

Some minor works can come under permitted development. This means they do not require planning permission. Please keep in mind, not all houses have permitted development rights so it is important to check before you continue with your project.

If you do require planning permission please keep in mind this takes time. You need to factor in the time it will take for your project to be ready to submit to planning. Then you will need to allow a minimum of 8 weeks for you planning application to run the process for a planning recommendation.

 Planning application drawing.

Planning application drawing.

Just because you submit a plan doesn't mean your planning will be approved. Each application the council receive has to meet certain criteria, some of these areas are:-

  • National policies
  • Local policies
  • Location
  • Siting of development
  • Percentage of the plot
  • Appearance
  • Building height
  • Building size
  • Materials (including colour, type and match)

When you do obtain permission, there may be conditions you have to meet before you can begin construction.

Now on to building control...

Your planning permission doesn't cover building regulations, this is covered separately by a building control specialist. Your local council will have its own building control department, but there are also private companies that can also carry out the same responsibilities.

 Building regulations drawing.

Building regulations drawing.

Building control covers the technical compliance of the proposed works. A building control officer will check your proposed building regulation drawings and will visit and inspect your development. The average extension normal requires about 5 visits from a building control officer at specific stages during the construction of the build. When your project is complete you will receive a completion certificate. This certificate is important as it indicates your works were carried out to building regulation standards.