What does the term 'building work' mean?

For building regulation purposes, the term building work means any of the following:

  • the erection or extension of a building
  • an alteration to a building
  • the provision, extension or alteration of a controlled service or fitting
  • a material change of use of a building or part

Which application should I submit?

Further advice on  when you need approval,  exemptions from building regulation, failure to comply with the building regulations and the difference between building regulations and planning permission can be found in the Planning Portal.

Basement development

Approval is required for all excavation works or enlargements of a basement and must meet Building Regulations and standards set by the Housing Act 1985 for habitable accommodation.

For further advice, look at our guide for new basement development and extensions to existing basement accommodation.

Additional information may be required when submitting a basement development application, such as:
• Deposit plans route (due to the nature of the work)
• Structural engineers report from an approved professional body: Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers or Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
• Planning permission may also be required, dependent on the works.

Find out more about basement developments


The Building Act 1984 allows local authorities to control demolition works for the protection of public safety and amenity and to ensure adjoining premises and the site are made good when demolition has ended. If you intend to demolish a building, you are required to notify us.

Compliance with the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 applies to all demolition works and to the Party Wall etc Act 1996 in respect of works to party walls, party fence walls and party structures.

Additional information may be required when submitting a demolition application such as:
• A method statement
• Consult with the development control team when the building is to be demolished
• If any temporary road closures or alteration to pedestrian routes are necessary please seek advice about traffic

What happens next?

When we have received your application, we may visit the building to determine whether conditions need to be imposed to control the process of demolition, the remedial works needed on adjoining buildings, the effect on services and the treatment of the site when finished.

Our asset management team will inspect the condition of the existing pavements and road surface so that any damage as a result of the demolition may be reinstated at the expense of the person carrying out the demolition.

We have 6 weeks to issue our notice of conditions, but will aim to do this earlier wherever possible. It is unlawful to start demolition until this notice is given.

Site Inspections

Inspections will be made during the course of demolition and on completion, to ensure  the conditions we impose are met.

A charge will be made to recover expenses incurred for undertaking surveys and for issuing the notice of conditions.

Special or temporary structures

Certain special or temporary structures such as radio masts, stands for special events or tall free standing walls require consent under Section 30 of London Building Act (Amendments) Act 1939.

Consents may be of unlimited duration or renewable, depending on the durability of the structure.

Detached buildings and extensions

The following types of building work may be exempt from building regulations and therefore an application for building control is not required.

Detached buildings

An exemption may apply if:

A detached single-storey building having a floor area not exceeding 30m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation and has no point of which is less than 1m from the boundary, or which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.

A detached building, having a floor area not exceeding 15m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation e.g. a greenhouse or shed.


An exemption may apply if:

The extension of a building by the addition at ground level of: a conservatory (that is not permanently open to the house), porch, covered yard or covered way; or a carport open on at least two sides where the floor area does not exceed 30m2.

In the case of a porch or conservatory any glazing should meet the requirements of the Building Regulations. (i.e. glazing in most doors and adjacent windows and in windows with a sill level less than 800mm above floor level should be in a safety glass).