An Introduction to Building Regulations

So you’ve secured planning permission for your project – congratulations!

However, this doesn’t mean that your project can immediately start. The next important step for your build may be to submit building regulations drawings. This usually applies to most new builds, or existing buildings being altered or change of use applications. After planning permission has been granted, your project will require evidence to show that:

    • It is safe for those in and around it
    • It meets the required level of comfort and living standards
    • It will be of a good standard


“But haven’t I already submitted drawings?”, you ask. Yes, during the planning permission phase you would have submitted planned drawings for approval, however these are different from the drawings that you will be required to submit for the building regulations stage.



So what is the difference between drawings for planning permission and building regulation drawings?

First of all, planning permission and building regulations approval from Building Control are two different types of legislation. We’ve gone into detail about planning permission in previous articles, so if you’d like more information regarding this topic follow the links for Planning Permission Success Rates and Can I Extend Without Planning Permission?

Legislation for building regulations go as far back as 1965, and were commonly known as building standards. In accordance with the Building Act 1984, approved documents outlined in Building Regulations 2010 set the minimum requirements that you will need to meet to have your project given the go-ahead.

These approved documents consist of 16 parts and your agent will ensure that your project will comply with each one. These include areas such as fire precautions and requirements, ventilation to rooms and roof voids, and waste. The drawings will show a more detailed plan of the proposed works, including construction methods and materials, and full measurements that prove compliance with the relevant Building Regulations. In addition, your latest drawings will also show calculations and specifications from your structural engineer.

On the other hand, planning permission drawings show location, size and layout of the proposal to scale, but focus primarily on the appearance and materials of the proposal. Your local authority also assesses whether your project falls in line with local and national policies. However, they do not include any construction information or reference any of the factors required in relation to building regulations.

Essentially, planning permission drawings show the initial first stage, or ‘scope of works’ of your project, with the Building Regulations stage taking into account the finer details required to make it safe and compliant.


Planning Permission Drawing Example


Building Regulations Drawing Example


So how can you get approval?

There are 2 different types of bodies that you can use to gain Building Regulations approval. One option is to have your agent submit your application to your local Building Control authority, who will then send a building inspector to assess the work. Once your application has been approved, the Inspector will issue a final certificate of approval. Alternatively, the inspector will advise you on any additional works that need to be completed before issuing a certificate of approval.

The second option is to use a private, approved Inspector who will submit an ‘initial notice’ to the local authority before work begins on your project. Your local authority will then check these details within 5 working days of the initial notice. Whichever option you choose, is completely up to you!

Here at Plans 2 Extend, we have a proven track record of helping homeowners across the North West achieve their dream homes. We provide Plans to your local planning authority that comply with their “Guide to Extensions” and Policies. Our Building Regulation plans give clear instructions to your builder, we go that extra mile in detail to support your builder. With our many years of experience, we have extensive knowledge of the construction industry and have a reliable list of trusted builders that we can recommend for your project.

For more information, please contact us on 01942 466 031 or visit our website at

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