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Do you need planning permission or building regulations approval?

​​​​​​With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Make minor changes without planning permission

You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without planning permission. These are called permitted development rights. The most common ​permitted development rights are for extensions and alterations to houses, although they also apply to retail, industrial and other types of development. They also allow certain changes of use.

​​Apply for a Lawful Development C​ertifica​​​te​ if you want formal confirmation from us to clarify whether your proposal is permitted development.

​​Check if you need planning permissi​on or building regulations approval on the Pla​nning Portal​

Apply for planning permission in a conservation area ​​​​​as permitted development rights are restricted for buildings in conservation areas​.

You should always speak to us before working on a listed building. Most external and internal alterations to listed buildings ​require planning permission and possibly listed building consent. Check ​if your building is listed and ​apply for planning permission.

​​Work exempt from building regulations

Work exempt from building regulations may still need planning permission. The following work is exempt from building regulations:

  • Work undertaken by a member of a competent person schemes.
  • Porches used as entrance area less than 30 m2 floor area separated from the remainder of the house by a standard external door.
  • Conservatories at ground floor level less than 30m2 floor area with transparent roof and over 50% of the walls glazed, separated from the remainder of the house by external doors. (Approval may be required for installation of new doors into the conservatory from the house).
  • Detached garages and single storey buildings less than 30m2 floor area at least 1 metre away from the boundary or constructed from non-combustible material. 
  • Detached buildings that do not exceed 15m2 floor area which contain no sleeping accommodation. For example: a typical garden shed.
  • Car ports open on two sides less than 30m2 floor area.
  • Garden walls and fences.
  • Replacement windows in a house installed by a FENSA, BSI or CERTASS registered installer.
  • Installation in a building of a system to produce electricity, heat or cooling by microgeneration or from renewable sources, photovoltaic panels for example. This is exempt if installed by a competent scheme member who is certified to deal with electrical, structural and all other aspects of the building regulations which apply.  

Other detached buildings and work:

  • Controlled under other legislation, such as Explosive or Nuclear or Archaeological Acts.
  • Places that people go infrequently to maintain equipment, providing that they are isolated.
  • Agricultural buildings, providing they are not close to sleeping accommodation and have sufficient fire exits.
  • Temporary for less that 28 days.
  • Site cabins for construction sites providing they do not provide sleeping accommodation.
  • Used for mines or quarries, providing they are not offices, dwellings or showrooms.
  • Certain minor electrical work.

Work requiring​ building regulations

The most common proposals that require building regulations approval are:

  • The majority of house extensions.
  • New houses and apartments.
  • Conversions of buildings to houses or apartments.
  • Garage or outbuilding conversions to form a room.
  • Loft conversions.
  • Installation of roof lights or dormer windows.
  • Internal structural alterations, such as removal of a load bearing wall or chimney breast.
  • Some electrical work to domestic properties.
  • Internal plastering and re-rendering works where more than 25 per cent of the wall area is affected.
  • A new opening or widening of an opening in a load bearing wall.
  • Installing new baths, showers, sinks or toilets which involve new drainage or waste plumbing.
  • Altering the position of a staircase.
  • Window and door replacement (Unless installed by FENSA, CERTASS or BSI approved installer).
  • Construction of new chimneys, flues or the replacement of flue linings
  • Underpinning of existing foundations..
  • Re-roofing.
  • Installation of a septic tank (Existing septic tanks which discharge to a surface water source must be replaced with a package treatment plant or similar before January 2020. A Planning Application is also required for this work).
  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Installation of new heating (other than electric and subject to certain exceptions).
  • The majority of work relating to non-domestic buildings, or conversions to non domestic buildings.

If you're still unsure if you need approval please contact our Building Control Team.

Apply for planning permission or building regulations approval​​


​​Planning Team

0300 303 8873

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Planning and Development
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU


Building Control Team

01706 924327

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

Emergency: Out of office hours

Building Control
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU