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Planning and Building Control

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  • Posted date:
  • 06-07-2018
Planning and Building Control

Planning and Building Control

In general, both planning and building control involve permissions necessary when working on buildings or altering properties. Planning control/planning permissions is a formal consent given by a local planning authority regarding the development of new buildings or major making significant alterations to already existing structures. 


Such a system’s primary function is to regulate inappropriate development. Building control/building regulations refer to specific minimum standards regarding modification, construction, and design to all buildings within the United Kingdom. The government develops the building regulations, which then have to pass through parliament for approval before taking effect. 

Obtaining a Planning Permission 

Whenever there is a need for a planning application, the local planning authority has to make the initial decision on the submitted proposal. This authority then makes the proposal public for a 21-day period to get the views of the public. Comments put down on paper from the public will play a role during the decision-making process by the local authority. Issues relating to land use and development will make material considerations and must be in public interests rather than for personal agenda. Decisions on minor applications will take up to eight weeks, and major development require a maximum of 13 weeks. The authorities should ensure that these developments work to enhance the social, environmental, and economic state of the given area. 

Obtaining Building Control Approval 

To obtain building regulations approval, the involved party has to submit an application to a Building Control Body (BCB). BCBs may be a local authority BCB or a private BCB. Typically, the former is the Council’s Building Control Department, and the latter involves Approved Inspectors. In cases where a given party uses Approved Inspectors, the latter has to brief the local authority on the project, a process identified as an “initial notice”. 

According to the notice, there are three different way through which development can get approval. These include: 

  • Regularisation
  • Full plans
  • Building notice 

What Is the Difference Between Planning and Building Control? 

Since both planning and building control pertain the required permission during the various developments on buildings and properties, it may be difficult to set the two apart from each other. The distinguishing factor may be unclear, especially when it comes to the approval regimes governing planning and building regulations. 

To distinguish the two, one has to first understand the purpose of planning and building regulations. Planning considers the development of cities, towns, as well as the countryside as whole, whereas Building Regulations is of buildings and land, buildings’ appearance, road access, landscaping and its effect of the environment in general. 

On the other hand, building regulations work by setting standards regarding construction and design of buildings. These standards seek to ensure the health and safety of all occupants of the buildings and those within these areas. The building regulations also entail requirements meant to ensure power conservation and distribution of various facilities to people, such as those with disability within buildings. 

Most building works will need separate processes or permissions governed by the two regimes. For some works like internal modifications, building regulations have to be in place, but planning control may not be necessary. Local planning authorities or building control bodies can provide more insight into this matter.