Most building projects will require both Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval.
These are completely separate approvals, and neither approval guarantees the other will also be granted !
deals with matters of principle, including :
- the use of land
- the effect of development on adjacent land and properties
- the need for the development
- the impact of the development on infrastructure (road traffic, drainage, water supply)
- the impact of the development on the environment (ecological impacts, wildlife)
- the appearance of the development and how it relates to its surroundings
Planning controls are intended to protect public interests, not private interests (such as land values of adjacent sites), but in practice there are areas of overlap. There is a right of appeal for the applicant if a proposal is rejected, but generally no appeal (except in the courts on legal grounds) for objectors if it is approved.
Members of the public may comment on proposals, immediate neighbours of a proposed development will normally be consulted, and the Planning process is generally intended to be open and transparent.
Once a proposal is approved Planning Officers do not generally inspect the works, unless a complaint is made that the development is not in accordance with the approval.
deal with Health and Safety and Energy Efficiency. There is no public consultation - proposals submitted remain confidential between the applicant and the Building Control Authority or Approved Inspector. Plans can be submitted to either the Local Authority Buildign Control Department or a provate sector Approved Inspector. The information required (drawings and specification) is more detailed than for Planning Approval. If the proposals meet the technical requirements of the Buildign Regulations they will be approved.
Unless the proposal is entirely straightforward in planning terms, it is best to obtain Planning Permission before seeking Building Regulation Aproval, to avoid wasted time and expense.
When work starts the Building Control Authority or Approved iinspector must be notified and will inspect key stages of the work - however this inspection is limited to compliance with the regulations and does not cover quality of work.