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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.

If you want formal confirmation from us to clarify whether your proposal is permitted development, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate​.

Check whether you need to apply for:

​​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