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This page aims to provide you with building advice relating to:

  • whether you need Building Regulations consent
  • exempt building works
  • home extensions
  • disabled access
  • electrical safety (Part P)
  • builders, agents and certified competent persons.

Building Regulations approval

The Building Regulations will probably apply if you intend to carry out any of the following work:

  • erect a new building or extend an existing building (unless the building or extension is exempt from control under the regulations)
  • make structural alterations to an existing building (including underpinning)
  • change the use of an existing building (in certain cases)
  • provide, extend or alter drainage facilities
  • install a heat producing appliance (gas appliances installed by persons approved under the Gas Safety Regulations are usually exempt from this requirement);
  • install cavity wall insulation
  • install an unvented hot water storage system
  • domestic electrical installations.

You do not need Building Regulations approval to:

  • install new sanitary fittings (unless the work involves new drainage or plumbing arrangements)
  • carry out repairs providing they are of a minor nature replacing like for like.

Exempt building works

Whilst not an exhaustive list, the following outlines the most common types of building works that are exempt from the Building Regulations requirements.

Exempt building work: detached buildings

A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30 square metres, which contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building:

  • no point of which is less than 1 metre from the boundary of its curtilage, or
  • which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.

A detached building having a floor area which does not exceed 15 square metres, which contains no sleeping accommodation.

Exempt building work: extensions

The extension of a building by the addition at ground floor level of:

  • a conservatory, porch covered yard or covered way, or
  • a carport open on at least two sides.

Where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30 square metres, provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing satisfies the requirements of Part K Section 5: Protection against impact with glazing, it remains able to be separated from the original building, for example; by a door and has a separate temperature and on/off controls on any fixed heating.

Extensions and conversions

Home extensions and conversions have become an increasingly popular way to maximise living space in the home. If done well, they can also add significant value to a property.

Building an extension or converting your loft can be a daunting prospect. There are lots of things to consider before you start, but our Building Control service can support you. 

While not a substitute for professional advice, our online guide should give you a better understanding of the main challenges you are likely to face and in particular, how the Building Regulations will affect the design and construction of your project.

Access for the disabled

We're firmly committed to the principle of ensuring that the built environment is accessible to everyone.

Most of us at some time in our lives will experience the problems of restricted mobility. This is an issue that affects and involves us all, not only people with a disability but the elderly, those suffering from temporary impairments such as broken limbs or having to push prams or carry heavy shopping.

The principle of access and facilities for disabled people, is supported by various legislative requirements including the Building Regulations. Our Building Control service is the focal point of all access matters relating to the built environment in the Bury borough.

Many barriers to the built environment could be avoided altogether simply by thinking ahead at the design stage. If you're involved in a scheme where access issues are relevant, early consultation is strongly recommended. Don't be guilty of adding to the already high number of difficult to use and 'no go' buildings. Always think in terms of 'access for all'.

Regulations interpretation

The Greater Manchester District Surveyors Association has put together a document 'Accessibility by design in Greater Manchester' to help with interpreting Part M of the Building Regulations 2010. The document includes useful and detailed information, along with useful contacts, on the following:

  • access to buildings
  • access within buildings
  • facilities in buildings other than dwellings
  • dwellings
  • designer's checklist.

The Equality Act 2010 places a legal duty on all those who provide services to the public to make reasonable adjustments to the physical environment of their premises to ensure that disabled people can access their goods, services and facilities. More information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Part P electrical safety

The objectives of the Part P electrical safety regulations are to:

  • replace the existing voluntary controls on the risk of death, injury and fire caused by electricity
  • improve the average level of competency and responsibility of those undertaking electrical work who can be DIY workers as well as professional electricians
  • raise the awareness of builders and householders of the need for care when undertaking electrical work.

Homeowner electrical safety responsibility

As a homeowner, you're responsible for ensuring work in your home is completed or checked by a competent person scheme registered electrician.

Under Part P of the building regulations, DIY work and work carried out by non-registered traders should be checked and certified. As the property owner, you're ultimately responsible for ensuring electrical work complies with the rules.

The regulations do not stop you doing your own work or using an unregistered tradesperson, but you would either need to make a Building Regulations application or have a member of an electrical competent person scheme check it and issue the notice and certificate.

It's easier and safer if you use an electrician registered with a government authorised competent persons' scheme, because then you may not need to make an application to your local authority as they're authorised to do this.

Competent person schemes

Competent person self certification schemes were introduced by the Government to allow individuals and enterprises to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations as an alternative to submitting a Building Notice or using an approved inspector.

The principles of self-certification are based on giving people who are competent in their field the ability to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations without the need to submit a Building Notice or the need for inspections or incur fees. Self-certification can:

  • enhance compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations
  • reduce costs for firms joining authorised schemes
  • promote training and competence within the industry.

It can also help tackle the problem of 'cowboy builders' and assist local authorities with enforcement of the Building Regulations.

There are many jobs including electrics, glazing, gas, heating, simulation, roofing, plumbing and renewables that can be now carried out with firms that are registered with a Competent Person Scheme. Firms listed on this register can self-certify that their work is compliant with the current Building Regulations.

Agents and builders

Bury Building Control has a working relationship with local architectural agents and building contractors as part of the Local Authority Building Control Partnership Scheme. The scheme provides construction professionals, such as:

  • architects
  • building engineers
  • developers
  • self-employed builders.

Those part of the scheme allows us to work closely with our partners by providing a consistent and continuous service delivered through individual account managers who are dedicated to ensuring high levels of efficiency, customer care and quality of service.

By using this scheme, partners can submit Building Regulation applications to our Building Control service for projects to be built anywhere in England.

Our Building Control scheme partners

We select partners based on a number of factors, including past performance, workmanship, competency and experience. The lists below of agents and builders are ordered by length of partnership with us and does not imply priority or infer any recommendation by Bury Council of any individual organisation listed.

If you are interested in partnering with us for your Building Regulation submissions, please contact us.