Planning Permission Explained
Parliament has given the main responsibility for planning to local planning authorities (usually, this is the planning department of your local council). Therefore, if you have any queries about a particular case, the first thing to do is to contact your local planning authority.
You may also be able to find out more about planning law in your local library.
If you are concerned about a legal problem involving planning, the local Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor may be able to help.
It is your responsibility for seeking, or not seeking, planning permission. If required, planning permission should be granted before any work begins.
An Overview of Buiding Regulations
Meeting the requirements of the Building Regulations is the responsibility of the person carrying out the building work and, if they are not the same person, the owner of the building. The building regulations apply to most building work, therefore it is important to know when approval is needed.
If you are carrying out building work personally, it is very important that you understand how the building regulatory system and material applies to your situation as you are responsible for making sure that the work complies with the building regulations.
If you are employing a builder, the responsibility will usually be their’s – but you should confirm this at the very beginning. You should also bear in mind that if you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations.
The responsibility for checking the Building Regulations have been met falls to Building Control Bodies (BCBs) – either from the Local Authority or the private sector as an Approved Inspector. The person carrying out the work has the choice of where to get approval for the building work.
In the case of some minor works, the contractor (if approved to do so) may be able to self-certify the work, meaning you will not need to seek approval directly yourself – the contractor will notify the Building Control Body of their work and that it has been done in accordance with the Building Regulations (separate to Planning Permission).
How to get approval depends on whether a Local Authority Building Control or Approved Inspector Building Control service is being used.