As a home owner, regardless of the nature of the proposed building work, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the proposed project conforms to the relevant planning rules and building regulations. This is regardless of whether your particular building project requires planning permission or building regulations approval or not.
Due to this, failure on the part of the home owner or landowner to comply with any relevant rules will result in them being liable to remedial action against them. In a worst case scenario these remedial actions can result in demolition and/or restoration to the property. In order to avoid the occurrence of this it is highly advisable to discuss any proposed building work with the relevant Local Planning Authority and Building Control Service, prior to commencing on the extension or conversion project.
Generally, for most building work or alterations of properties a form of permission is required. In some cases it may not be totally clear how the Planning and Building Regulations approval parties differ. In addition, a homeowner or landowner may also have a number of health and safety regulation responsibilities to adhere to.
Typically, Building Regulations set the standards for both the design and construction of buildings in order to ensure both the health and safety of the persons in or around the building in question. Building Requirements also provide requirements to ensure that the fuel and power used within the property is conserved and that facilities are provided, including for those with disabilities, to both access and move around within the building.
Planning, on the other hand, seek to guide the way in which buildings, town and countryside develops within the UK. This umbrella includes the appearance of buildings, highway access, landscaping considerations and the overall impact that the proposed building development, extension or conversion project will have on the general environment.
Many types of building projects actually require separate approval and planning permission from both bodies. However, other forms of building work, such as internal conversion projects e.g. garage conversions, basement conversions and loft conversions, may require Building Regulations approval but may not require planning permission. If you have any doubts as to whether approval or permission from either body is required, then it is advisable to contact your Local Planning Authority or a Building Control Body.
In addition, if you intend to have building or construction work performed on your property then you may be required to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and may have other responsibilities. These responsibilities may be covered by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations of 2007. Whilst a domestic client may not always have responsibilities under the CDM 2007, those who are working on the project on behalf of them will.