Planning Permission and Building Regulations
It is apparent that many clients and potential clients confuse Planning Permission and Building Regulation Approval. What I am about to explain is not intended to be definitive or comprehensive but only a rough guide to a subject that many find unfathomable.
Very roughly the Planning Department is concerned with the use to what the building or land is put, ie is the building or land a shop or a house for instance. This is because it may be undesirable to have a noisy factory, or a business with many customers creating a parking issue, in the middle of a housing estate. The other issue that concerns Planners is what will the building will look like. They use terms like massing, style and scale, all terms effectively relating to how the building relates to other nearby buildings or the building you are trying to extend. Very simply for most of Building Tectonics work these are the sort of issues that we have to talk to the Planning Department about.
Building Regulations started off as mandatory building codes to ensure the safety and well-being of people using a building. Simple examples would include structural stability and damp penetration. This is still at the core of the Building Regulations but they are now also used to implement Central Government policy regarding heat loss and disabled access. Think of Building Regulations as the technical standards you have to achieve.
This is of course very simplistic and one could list many examples that contradict the above.
We have had many clients including professional people such as solicitors who have not had a grasp that there are these two regulatory areas and even though Building Tectonics will deal with these two aspects for a client, they still have to be aware that both types of approvals are required – unless the work is exempt of course. Now, this issue of whether the work is exempt or not also requires an understanding of the two areas because the work may be exempt from one but not the other.
I will blog again on Planning matters and Building Regulations but in the meantime I hope the above is useful.
Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd.