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Building improvements

What are the Building Regulations?

Building Regulations set performance standards for the design and construction of buildings. These regulations are made by the Department of Finance and enforced by local councils.

They are arranged in 16 parts; A-V. Parts B-V refer to Technical Booklets which give guidance. In most cases, if you follow these booklets your building will meet the Building Regulations.

Do I need to apply for Building Regulation approval?

You must apply for Building Regulations approval if you want to:

  • construct a building such as a new home, office, shop and so on.
  • make structural alterations to a building, for example, remove a load-bearing wall or a chimney breast.
  • build an extension on an existing building, for example, building a kitchen extension.
  • convert a roofspace to be used as storage or an extra room.
  • install fittings or services in a building, for example, installing or converting a central-heating system, installing a heating appliance, flue, unvented hot-water system or micro generation technology.
  • install a solar panel or other renewable-energy technology.
  • alter or install drainage or provide new sanitary accommodation such as a toilet or bathroom.
  • make material change of use to a building, for example, convert offices into flats.
  • provide access ramps and other facilities for people with disabilities.
  • install cavity-wall insulation or roof-space insulation.

Exemptions

Some works are exempt from the Building Regulations and you won’t need to make an application. However, some may still need to meet specific Building Regulations standards, and you must make sure the builder or installer constructs them correctly. 

Please email us at buildingcontrol@belfastcity.gov.uk for more information.

What happens if I don’t get building control approval?

Carrying out building work without building control approval could result in one or all of the following:

  • Enforcement action against you - you will have to make the appropriate application and may face court proceedings and fines.
  • Extra costs - you may have to pay another builder to make alterations or in the worst case, you may have to remove the works you have done.
  • Hold-ups to your plans - you may not be able to sell or re-mortgage your home.

Planning permission

Planning permission may also be required for your building work. For more information please visit our Planning Services


Contact us
Building control
028 9027 0650
Building Control
Ground Floor
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP