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Building Control

Last updated 24 November 2014

Building Control and the Building Regulations aim to protect the health and safety of people in and around buildings.

Building Control and planning permission

If you want to carry out building work, you may require both planning permission and Building Regulations approval. Planning and Building Control require separate applications and fees.
When both planning and building regulations applications are required for a proposed development, most applicants submit a building control application after planning permission has been granted.

Works covered by Building Control

  • New builds
  • Extensions or alterations to an existing building such as loft conversions, changing a house into flats, removing some or all of a load-bearing wall.
  • Work that affects the means of escape in the event of fire or other emergency
  • Addition of drains, washing and sanitary facilities or hot water storage
  • Regulations may also apply to certain changes of use of an existing building including changing a garage into a habitable room
If there is any doubt as to whether the building regulations apply to your proposed works, you should contact your local authority Building Control office.
The Waltham Forest Building Control Section may be contacted on  020 8496 3000. It may be appropriate to arrange a pre application inspection to discuss your proposal further.


Some types of building work do not require to be notified to the Council for building regulation purposes (though planning permission may still be required. Please check).
Such work may be repairs, minor maintenance and decorating work, the construction of a small car port or a porch. Also the construction of a single storey detached out-building such as a shed which is not adjoined to an existing building, and is less than 30 sq metres in floor area and does not contain a habitable room   

Submitting an application

Full Plans

Building Control full plans submission is the most commonly submitted application.
This applies to new buildings, extensions and alterations to existing buildings and where the use of the building is changed.
Submit a Full Plans application

Building Notice

A Building Notice is intended for minor building works like:
  • Chimney breast removal
  • Recovering of roofs
  • Installing a new bathroom (approval is not needed for refurbishing an existing bathroom / toilet)
  • Converting an attached garage to a habitable room
  • Forming a through lounge
  • Replacing windows
Submit a Building Notice application


Sometimes building works such as alterations or extensions are carried out without a building regulation application being submitted. This is likely to cause difficulty if the property is sold.

Notification of demolition work

Proposed demolition work requires submission of a notification notification form to the Building Control team.
More information on notification of demolition work

Building control search

If you want to obtain a copy of a building control application that has already been submitted you can apply using a Building Control search request form.

Building control site visits

You can book, change or cancel a building control site visit via our online form.

Report a dangerous structure

If you think a structure represents a danger to the public then please report it to the Council.
Report a dangerous structure 

Information guides

Further Information

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Contact details

  • Building Control

    Environment & Regeneration Waltham Forest Council Sycamore House Forest Road Walthamstow
    E17 4SU
    Phone: 020 8496 3000