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Do You Need Planning Permission or Building Regulations | Common Projects & Alterations

Planning permission building regulations

Alterations can lead to issues on re-sale and remortgage. This results in delays. Avoid this by checking the portal.

Do not rely on your builder / installer. They frequently get it wrong. They get to walk away. You do not. The responsibility is yours.

You will need to consider BOTH planning and building regulations. Having one does not mean you do not need the other. It depends on the works.

It is vital the works are structurally sound as that will damage property value and be revealed in the buyer‘s survey. Building regulations are there to ensure structural integrity and safety. No one wants to buy an unsafe property for their family to occupy.

You may be able to obtain Indemnity Insurance. However, you need to meet various assumptions or statements of fact for the insurance to be valid.

Future Buyers can rely on the policy but further works or revealing the policy’s existence (amongst other things) invalidates the insurance. Be careful not to breach the policy terms and conditions.

If Indemnity Insurance is NOT possible the only other option is retrospective consent. This takes time. The Council need to attend the property and could require additional works to bring the property to compliance standard. This means time and money and delays.


Enforcement action must be taken within 4 years for the erection of buildings, and within 10 years in relation to a change of use.


There is no time limit for the council taking enforcement action over breach of building regulations. Conveyancers tend to consider works aged 20 plus years to be historic and enforcement action highly unlikely. Less than 20 years though and they will seek indemnity insurance. The Buyer's Local Search WILL reveal council enforcement action.

Lastly be aware that some historic deeds contain restrictions against you carrying out alterations without third party consent. This will delay your sale if you don’t have consent.

Find out if you need planning permission (or building regulations) by checking the common projects listed on the Government planning portal.

Common projects


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