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South Bucks District Council
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Making an Application


The Building Control Services at South Bucks District Council and Chiltern District Council are working as a joint team based at the South Bucks office.
** 01895 837296 **


When do I need Building Regulation Approval?
You will generally need to submit a Building Regulation application before you start any building work such as:

  • New buildings.
  • Extending buildings.
  • Loft conversions.
  • Structural alterations e.g. forming openings, removing walls or chimneys.
  • Non structural alterations that affect fire safety or access for people with disabilities.
  • Drainage work i.e. installation of new drains, alteration or installation of appliances.
  • Changing the use of a building to a house, flat, public building [e.g. school, theatre, hall, church], or institute [e.g. nursing home, hospital].

There are a number of instances where Building Regulation permission is not necessary. These are explained below:

Buildings Which Do Not Need Permission
The buildings described below, are exempt from Building Regulations, but may require Planning Permission. Please contact the Council's Planning Officers for further advice.

It would be advisable before proceeding to notify the Council (both Building Control and Planning) with written details and sketches of your proposals. We will then confirm if the work is exempt. You may find it useful to keep our responses with the details of your property for future reference. This may be particularly useful when selling your property.

Extensions Which Are Exempt From Building Regulations
An extension at ground level with a floor area of no more than 30 sq. metres, which is either:

  • A covered yard or covered way;
  • A carport open on at least two sides;
  • A conservatory or porch, refer to the item on Conservatories and Porches for full exemption criteria.
  • A verandah or loggia


Detached Buildings Which Are Exempt from the Building Regulations

  • Agricultural Buildings (including buildings used for horticulture, fruit growing, the growing of plants for seed and fish farming, but not those buildings used for retailing, packing or exhibition), as long as :
  • no part of the building is used as a house or flat; and
  • no part of the building is less than one and a half times its height from any part of another building which contains sleeping accommodation; and
  • the building is provided with a fire exit no more than 30 metres from any point within the building.
  • Greenhouses - unless they are used for retailing, packing or exhibiting.
  • Temporary Buildings - if it is to be used where it is, for less than 28 days.
  • Mobile Homes - within the meaning of the Mobile Homes Act 1983, but not their drainage.


Detached Garages, Sheds and outbuildings provided they are single storey, and :

  • the building does not contain any sleeping areas; and
  • has a floor area (measured internally) no larger than 30 sq. metres, and
  • no part of the building is less than 1 metre from any boundary, or,
  • the building has a floor area no larger than 15 sq. metres, built substantially of non combustible materials and contains no sleeping areas.

Those Alterations You Thought Never Needed Permission!!

Below is a list of some of the works (in addition to new buildings and extensions) which may be governed by Building Regulations:

  • Installing a new toilet/shower/sink
  • Taking down an internal wall (even if it appears to be non load bearing)
  • Building a conservatory ( unless it is exempting Building Regulation)
  • Re-covering a roof.
  • Moving a staircase.
  • Forming any rooms in the loft.
  • Installing a roof light.
  • Inserting a new door or window opening.
  • Installing an unvented hot water system.
  • Installing cavity insulation within existing walls.
  • Converting your garage in to a habitable room.
  • Removing completely or in part your chimney breast.
  • Changing the method of providing heating.
  • Closing a side of your carport.
  • Underpinning.
  • Change of use, such as converting buildings into flats, or barns into dwellings.
  • Replacement windows

Please also remember to check with our Planning Officers who will be pleased to help you decide whether your proposal also requires Planning Permission.

They can be contacted through our Planning Administration Teams South Bucks on 01895 837342 or 01895 837210 or email or at Chiltern on 01494 732950 or email