When Do You Need Building Regulation Approval?

According to gov.uk, “you must check if you need approval before you construct or change buildings in certain ways. You don’t need to get approval yourself if you use someone registered with a competent person scheme. Building regulations approval is different from planning permission. You might need both.”

Stone Build Orangery with Tiled Roof


It is imperative that you check whether you need it or not, before you embark on any home improvement project. They are rules you should NOT ignore – so educate yourself!

So when do you actually need building regulation approval?


For a conservatory, you won’t need to apply for planning permission if your extension complies with the limits and conditions listed below:

  • No more than half the area of land around the original house would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
  • In addition, outside Article 1(5) designated land; national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites – and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2019.
  • These increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the neighbour consultation scheme.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres or be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • On designated land no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions.


When it comes to windows and doors, you don’t usually need to apply for planning permission for:

  • Repairs, maintenance, and minor improvements, such as repainting window and door frames
  • Insertion of new windows and doors that are of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the house (note – a new bay window will be treated as an extension and may require permission). If new windows are in an upper-floor side elevation they must be obscure-glazed and either non opening or more than 1.7 metres above the floor level.


If you’re thinking about investing in a porch, then you will need permission. However, if your porch complies with the points below, you won’t require permission:

  • The ground floor area (measured externally) would not exceed three square metres.
  • No part would be more than three metres above ground level (height needs to be measured in the same way as for a house extension).
  • No part of the porch would be within two metres of any boundary of the dwellinghouse and the highway.


Finally, if you’re thinking of a replacement roof, roof lights or skylights, then you don’t usually need to apply for regulation approval. However, you have to follow these rules:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.


If you don’t follow these rules and regulations, you could incur issues and be forced to take down your new structure. If you’re still not 100% sure on anything you have read, the team at Clearview have an in-depth understanding of building rules and regulations in relation to all home improvement projects.



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