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What is the difference between building regulations approval and planning permission?

Most people have heard of the term planning permission and what is likely to be involved. However, the process for gaining approval under the building regulations is different.

The difference in simple terms is:

Planning permission is concerned with the correct use of land, the appearance and scale of the proposed building and the impact that the development will have on the general environment and neighbouring properties.

Building regulations are concerned with the technical requirements associated with the construction process including the way in which the building is constructed, its structural stability, means of escape and fire precautions, weather resistance, energy conservation, sound insulation and access and facilities for all users.

For many types of building work, both planning permission and building regulations approval will be needed and will need to be applied for separately. There are instances where building work will require buildings regulations approval, but planning permission may not be. Similarly there will be occasions when building regulations approval is not needed but planning permission is.

If you are in any doubt you should contact us.

All building regulations applications can be completed via our website or by e-mailing them to

We are no longer able to accept applications being dropped off at Mendip District Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council receptions.

Payments should only be made over the telephone by calling 0300 303 7790 or by BACS.