The difference between building regulations and planning permission

 17th May 2016

Both building regulations and planning permission are vital for the majority of home extensions. Our bespoke Orangery products and designs here at Rococo often require these certificates for many different reasons, and we think it’s important that you know what they’re for, what they do and the difference between the two.

Building regulations are used as an overview of the buildings’ design and construction. Certain  requirements have to be met on new developments in order for them to progress further. Building regulations deal specifically with how a building is constructed, it’s structural stability and safety standards are checked, meaning work can't continue until the forms are all checked and signed off. 

The local council’s building control officers monitor these checks and as long as the correct technical standards are adhered to, it can be a surprisingly simple process.


Planning permission oversees how urban and countryside areas are developed. It covers the appearance of buildings, the use of land and what kind of impact the development is likely to have on its surrounding environment. It is controlled by a completely different set of legislation and permission is granted by the council’s town planning services. If you require planning permission for a development, it’s very important that you wait until the permission is granted before work commences. Planning permission is primarily concerned about the area in which the development is proposed to be built, and whether it is a listed buildings, a is within a conservation area or has a tree preservation order etc. It focuses on its surrounding environment, highways access and makes sure that any changes made to the property will not have a negative effect on the local area.


On many occasions separate permissions are required, as they are regarded as two different legislations. For some building work, (including interior alterations) building regulations approval is required but planning permission is not necessarily needed. Each case is unique, so the best way to avoid disappointment is to contact your local planning authority to find out what is required legally or speak with our expert team here in Romsey


For further information on building regulations and planning permission, take a look at LABC’s video: