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About building regulations

If you're planning to build in our borough, you might need building regulations approval.

Last updated: 6 January 2022

What are building regulations?

You might need to get building regulations approval if you want to build in Waltham Forest. 

Building regulations are standards for designing and constructing buildings to make sure they're safe and healthy for people who use them.

We ensure that buildings in the borough are properly designed and constructed, and the highest standards are maintained. If you have any questions, our expert team can help. Email: 

Building regulations approval is different from planning permission.

When you need building regulations approval

You must tell us if you plan to:

  • construct a new building
  • add a loft to your building
  • change your house to flats
  • remove part of or an entire wall in your building
  • carry out work to fire escapes or other emergency exits in your building
  • extend drains, toilets, bathrooms, or boilers in your building

The regulation can sometimes include changing your garage into a room.

Call us on 020 8496 3000 and ask for building control to see if you need approval before starting any work.

Which application to make

Full plans

Apply for full plans: 

  • for new buildings
  • for extensions, alterations to your building
  • if your building use is changing

Building notice

Apply for a building notice for minor building works:

  • chimney breast removal
  • recovering of roofs
  • installing a new bathroom
  • converting you garage to a room
  • forming a through lounge
  • replacing windows

Common projects

Check the planning portal to see if you need building regulations approval before starting work.

Exemptions from building regulations

You don’t need to get approval for the following types of work:

  • repairs
  • minor maintenance and decorating work
  • building a small car port or a porch

Building a shed

You don't need approval to build a shed that’s not attached to your building. This applies as long as its floor is less than 30sqm and it doesn’t include a room to live in.

Check to see if you need planning permission for this kind of work