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Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction

A report focussing on: The Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction

Table of Contents

Page Number

1.0 Executive Summary       3

2.0 Terms of reference       3

3.0 Procedure        4

4.0 Findings        4

5.0 Conclusion        17

6.0 References        21

7.0 Bibliography        22

8.0 Appendices        23

  1. Executive Summary

This report aims to examine the impact of current legislation on the Planning and Building Regulation issues relating to a proposed development of a low to medium rise commercial and multi-occupancy residential project in Bristol. The report then concludes by evaluating the impact of planning systems and building regulation agencies in manging the development of land and buildings.

  1. Terms of Reference
    1.            The principal focus are:
      1.                  To discuss the current legislation and agencies in the planning process including how planning decisions are made and processes of appeal.
      2.                  To analyses the role of planning systems and agencies in managing the development of land and buildings
      3.                  To discuss current legislation and agencies involved in the building control process including how building decisions are determined and processes of appeal.
      4.                  To analyse the application of building regulations in low to medium rise residential and commercial buildings.
    2.            The report was constrained by the information given and researched and the need to complete it by 22nd January 2019
  1. Procedure

This section identifies the research sources used.

  1.            The research included secondary sources on the subjects of assets of building planning and control from websites and text books set out in the references and bibliography.
  2.            University notes also provided background to the research.
  1. Findings
    1.            Overview of Planning Legislations

The main legislation considered with regards to planning permission is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (amended 2013). Other significant planning acts which needs to be considered include the Planning & Compensation Act of 1991, the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Planning Act 2008 which will be discussed throughout the report where relevant. With regards to the following report, the Planning (Listed Buildings) Act 1990 will also need to be considered. These Acts contain the law as agreed by Parliament.

The first version of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 was created post WWII to aid in the reconstruction and reorganisation of the country following a destructive war. As Building Wiki explains, “The 1947 Act democratised the use of land, controlling it and requiring planning permission to be granted prior to development beginning.” The 1947 act gave a wide range of powers to the local authorities including powers to; approve/decline applications; control outdoor advertising; preserve structures or areas of architectural/historic interest. The 1990 revision of the act began considering forward planning and planning control. This was built on with the introduction of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 which introduced the concept of local development plans and spatial planning in line with planning applications.

A Local Development Plan (LDP) is the basis for decisions on land use and planning within each constituency, it sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, determining what will be built where. The aim of an LDP is to guide the local Council on how to manage/provide a basis for whether development applications should be approved. As the National Planning Policy Framework explains, “Local Plans must be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development” and LAs should seek to achieve economic, social and environmental success across and future developments. For example, this include adequate allocation of residential developments, infrastructure and green spaces. Meaning that, if a planning application does not coincide with the LDP with regards to land use and ultimate sustainable development then the plans are likely to be rejected as Local Authorities “should be consistent with the principles and policies set out in this Framework, including the presumption in favour of sustainable development”.

The Planning & Compensation Act of 1991 (PCA) builds on the TCPA by providing improved powers to enforce planning control including powers to enter land, serve notices/penalties and revise time limits. The Act provides powers to acquire by agreement land that may be affected by carrying out public works, where this is the case then compensation may be awarded. This is a principle also supported by the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA) which outline the guidelines on issuing compensation for those effected by compulsory purchase of land. However, the PCPA main aim is to speed up the planning system by reforming the predictability of decisions with simplified planning zones. The Act also details how central and local government can handling planning applications more efficiently. Similarly, The Planning Act 2008 was bought into to simplify the planning approval process for large new items of infrastructures of national importance such as highways, harbours, energy plants etc. As Parliament explains “The objective is to streamline these decisions and avoid long public inquiries.” (Parliamment.UK 2018 [Online] ).

When a building is deemed to be of historical or architectural interest then it is added to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Once on this list, any building works, demolition or alternations to the interior or exterior need to comply with The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act. Any planning restrictions are in addition to standard planning legislation as all other standard planning and building regulations also apply.

4.2 Types of Planning Application

There are several types of planning application which exist. Most applications involve a ‘full planning permission application’ which means full details of the proposal must be submitted at time of application. Or, alternatively an ‘outline planning permission application’ can be made as discussed later in the report. As relevant for this project, a ‘Listed Building Planning Application’ may need to be made including precise details of the alteration. Similar restrictions apply for building within conservation areas, if a building is to be demolished in a conservation area then a ‘Conservation Consent Planning Application’ needs to be made. Furthermore, there are also separate planning applications for many other thins including advertisements, tress work and mineral/waste disposal.

There is an option to submit an Outline Planning Application before substantial time and money is put into a full planning application. The Application for Outline Planning Permission form is generally used to discover if a full planning application is likely to be approved by the local authority. This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted. The application will either be refused or approved with reserved matters. It is then possible to submit a reserved matters application to address the ‘missing details’. Once this is approved work can commence. Some, though not all, details may have been formally submitted and approved at the outline application stage, if the applicant chose to do so, or the council insisted.

If works were carried out without a planning application being completed, then retrospective consent will need to be applied for. Similarly, if works were not carried out as per the approved application (planning breach), or perhaps the project became more substantial than first anticipated, but the logistics of the build might have meant building later would be impossible (scheduling conflicts for the builders, or building equipment arriving earlier than planned) then retrospective planning consent needs to be applied for.

4.3 Permitted Development

Not all developments require planning permission, some can be covered under Permitted Development Law. A permitted development is general planning permission granted by Parliament not Local Councils which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without a planning application being made. Until recently, permitted development rights were set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (No. 418) (the1995 Order). They are now, since 5 April 2015, contained in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (No. 596) (the 2015 Order). There are some exceptions to the rules such as areas of natural beauty/interest, conservation areas and forestry. Some examples of permitted developments are included in appendix A.

The rules on permitted developments have been steadily reviewed since 2007 with the start of the global economic crisis when it was first seen as a way for us to ‘build’ our way out of recession. Since then, permitted development rights continue to be revised to cover arrange of redevelopment activity, however, there are numerous restrictions and requirements which need to be covered in order for the development to not require planning permission. If there is a dispute over whether works are covered under Permitted Development Legislation, then a Certificate of Lawfulness can be obtained. A Certificate of Lawfulness is “a decision on whether an existing use or development, or a proposed use or development, is lawful for planning purposes or not.” (Gov.UK 20018 [Online]). The certificate will confirm that any redevelopment is legal under sections 191 and 192 of the TCPA, the certificate being granted must be accepted as proof that any permitted development is lawful. However, Gov.Uk (2018 [Online]) further explains, “any contravention of the limitations on, or conditions belonging to, permitted development rights, under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, constitutes a breach of planning control against which enforcement action may be taken.” And therefore, retrospective planning or an appeal may need to be obtained before work can continue.

4.4 Overview of the Planning Application Process

The initial stage of achieving planning permission is to submit an application to the Local Planning authority. The Local planning authority will check that the application contains the correct information and supporting documents then publish the application to enable any comments from the public towards the application to be raised within a specified time frame (specified by the local council). In the meantime, a planning officer will visit the site and consider all the relevant information before writing a report with a recommendation for approval or refusal. The Local Planning Authority then makes their final decisions, usual within 8 weeks of the initial application, although this is dependant of each Local Authorities individual policies. During this 8 weeks or 21 days the local authority will consult a number of different agencies including Highways, waterways, utilities etc. Other forms of consultation which occur during this time include a public consultation which involves other relevant members of the immediate community, statutory consultation which involves a discussion with any relevant legal bodies and/or a non-statutory consultation which involves other relevant but non-legal bodies who may have an interest in the project. Article 15 of the Development Management Procedure Order states that a formal period of public consultation must be held before a planning decision is reached and a minimum statutory requirement is summarised, however each individual local authority may have differencing policies which extend from this. This is also the case for the period of time allowed for making comments although it cannot be less than 21 days, or for newspaper publishing, 14 days.

Appendix B shows and overview of the planning application process from Crawley Borough Council.

4.5 Approval Process and Conditions

Once the local authority has considered the views of the consultees and made their final decision, there can be several outcomes: approval; approval with conditions; refusal.

The National Planning Policy Framework (2018;5) defines a planning condition as, “A condition imposed on a grant of planning permission (in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990)” Conditions may be attached to permission for several reasons based on the feedback from the consultees, moreover, planning conditions can help improve the quality of a development which other may not have been suitable for approval by providing solutions to specific problems. Section 70(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act gives permission for local authorities to impose “such conditions as they think fit.”

Planning conditions are not to be used to impose general and unnecessary restriction and should be used in line with the National Planning Framework which provides supporting guidance on the use of conditions, and relevant case law. Pre-commencement conditions can be used when the local authority feel that they are necessary for the approval of the application. As of 1st October 2018, where pre-commencement conditions have been specified, the applicant must confirm acceptance of those conditions in writing before work can commence. Furthermore, the LA must explain why these conditions have been imposed as pre-commencement and the time frame in which the applicant has to respond.

After conditions have been set the applicant can both accept the conditions and agree to meet the criteria, in which case planning permission may be granted subject to this happening, or, the applicant can choose not to agree with them. In the case of the later, the local authority may wish to suggest alternative conditions or refuse to grant permission. However the developer is entitled to appeal against any conditions which they don’t agree with, as discussed later in the report. However, the developer should be aware that Under section 91 Town and Country Planning Act 1990, when conditions have been set, development must begin within 3 years from when permission was granted, unless another time period has been specified as part of the approval.

4.5  Appealing Planning Decisions

Once a decision has been made by the local authority, either refusal or conditional, the developer has a right to appeal it if you don’t agree with it or the decision was not made within the designated 8-week timeframe. However, you can only appeal if you were the person who made the original application. This time frame is extended to 10 weeks for major developments consisting of 10 dwellings or more, however this is not relevant for the Wesleyan Chapel conversion as it is not considered a  major development.

For appeals made in England, they will be made to the Planning Inspectorate who will decide on the appeal, in cases of major or complex developments then the inspector may pass the decision up to the First Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales (If you were making an appeal in Wales.) This is different again if you were making an appeal in Northern Ireland where you would appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission which will then be decided by commissioners who are appointed by the First and Deputy First Minister following open public competition. Preferably in England, the appeals are submitted online but can also be made in writing. This is different again in Ireland where appeals can only be made in writing.

In England and Wales, for appeals against the refusal of a domestic extension or development of a property within residential boundaries then a fast-track ‘householder’ planning appeal can be made online. These are not relevant for some developments including erection of a new dwelling or change of use application, nor can this appeal process be used against reserved matters or non-determination claims but the process is a faster more convenient approach to making an appeal which allows the developers to track the application online thus reducing waiting time and unnecessary bureaucracy. A householder appeal application must be made within 12 weeks of the original refusal letter.

To make an appeal there is a strict time limit of 6 months from the date on the refusal letter, by which date your appeal and supporting documents must be received. If you are appealing an enforcement notice, then you have 28 days from the date it was served and for appeals against non-determination, the time frame is 6 months from the date that a decision was originally due. However, it is always recommended that you enter into a dialogue with the Local Planning authority to try and resolve planning disagreement before submitting an appeal.

Excluding the householder appeal, there are 4 separate types of appeal which can be made to the Local Planning Authorities each with their own form and set of requirements, they are: Planning Appeals; enforcement notice appeals; LDC appeals; advertising appeal.

  1. Planning enforcement


Once building works have started the local authority has the right to visit any development to ensure that they have stayed within the limitations and conditions of their planning permission. Failure to do this is known as a breach of planning control. The Town and country planning act 1990 defines a breach to be “the carrying out of development without the required planning permission; or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted”. If the local authority deems this to have occurred then they have a responsibility to take enforcement action. Any action taken by the local authority must be deemed proportionate however, it is down to their discretion. As per section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990,  in normal circumstance, enforcement action can only take place up to 4 years after the breach of planning, this also applies to unauthorised changes of use to a single dwelling but this is extended to 10 years for any breach of planning control i.e. change of use. However, there is also a provision for a “second bite application” which may be used when further enforcement action is required after the original 4 years has expired. Similarly, when a person has deliberately concealed a breach of planning, the 4 year time period does not begin until there has been opportunity to discover the breach. In this circumstance the local authority can apply for a planning enforcement order to allow them to take action after the time limits in section 171B have expired.

There are many reasons why planning enforcement is important: it maintains the amenity of an area; maintains the integrity of an area as well as the integrity of planning control itself; ensures a fair process for all members of the public involved; ensure areas of importance are preserved and it helps keeps people safe. As Stroud District Council (2018 [Online] explains “Unauthorised development can have adverse consequences and, if unchecked, can undermine confidence in the planning system.”

If you own, rent or lawfully occupy a property which has had an enforcement notice issued you have the right to appeal against it. The process of appealing is free unless you are also applying for planning permission. The appealer has until the date on the enforcement notice is due to take effect and once the appeal is received with the correct documentation, there is 36 weeks for the local authority to make a decision.

Following a breach of planning control, there are several courses of action which the local planning authority are entitled to make. Firstly, they could decide not to take any formal action as things may be able to be settled through communication and mutual understanding. Or, the local authority could instruct a person to apply for retrospective planning permission as discussed above. Before these options, the council may look to serve a planning contravention notice which is used to help them investigate is a breach of planning has occurred. However, this cannot be used for suspected breaches of listed building or conservation area control, hazardous substance control or control of protected trees. If, following this, a breach of planning is discovered then an enforcement notice can be issued. If the instructions of an enforcement notice are not followed, then the local authority can seek permission form a court to grant an enforcement order. An intermediate course of action against a breach of planning may be to issue a stop notice or temporary stop notice which means all work is halted until the project is brought in line with planning control. A breach of planning can be against conditions specified alongside the planning permission as well as the planning itself, if this occurs then a breach of condition notice may be issued. As there is no process of appeal against a Breach of Condition Notice, not complying with the notice can result in a criminal conviction or injunction. Some or all of the above methods of enforcement can also be used for Listed Building Enforcement, Enforcement on crown land, Enforcement of hazardous substances control, unauthorised advertisements enforcement and/or Enforcement of protected trees.

4.7  History of Development of Building Control Systems

Building control systems and regulations have been in force since as early at 1189, mainly for the prevention of fires.  In 1212 regulations were amended to include a ban on thatched roofs in London. Later years saw the population of London rise from around 5000 habitants in 1300AD to around 100,000 habitants in 1600AD, with this came limited building space and a requirement for multi-story jettison buildings, a tight networks of streets and cramped communal areas such as market squares. This combination of factors meant that the great fire of London in 1666 was able to destroy the entire city in four days. Following the devastation of the fire, regulations needed to be introduced to prevent this from happening again, this lead to the introduction of the 1667 Rebuilding Act. The Act introduced regulations which saw the banning severe fire hazards such as jettison buildings and handing signs as well as the introduction of brick only buildings, wider streets, better hygiene and new Fire Regulations including easy access to water in the event of a fire. Next, The Building Acts of 1707 and 1709 saw controls extended to Westminster meaning greater legislative and enforcement powers were introduced. Furthermore, the Act was again revised in 1774 to cover greater details including door and window recesses. However, building regulations had become a combination of different provisions in different places, it wasn’t until the first 1848 Health Act which set out a frame work for Local Authorities that the 1858 Local Government Act could then extend powers to Local Authorities with regards to regulating the structures of buildings.

4.8  Legal framework, Legislation and Regulatory Agencies

The Building Act 1984 is the overarching legislation under which secondary pieces of legislation such as the Building Regulations 2010 are created. As Conservation Wiki (2018 [Online]) explains, its purpose is “Securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings”. The Building Act 1984 allocates powers to LAs including the ability to enforce building regulations, distribute prosecutions and enforcement actions in relations to dangerous buildings/structure and building compliance.

Regulation 3 of The Building Regulations outline the definition of ‘building works’ which includes erections, installations, and alterations to buildings, walls or foundations. Appendix X includes the full definition of building works. There are supporting guidance documents which accompany the building regulations known at Approved documents (see Appendix 3) which contain guidance on materials and solutions to achieve compliance.

The Building Regulations 2010 and Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 require owners, builders, and registered construction professionals to prove that all building works have been undertaken in line with building regulations. The role of ensuring building regulations are complied with is the responsibility of Building Control Bodies. There are two types of Building Control Bodies (BCB), A Local Authority Building Control service or a private sector Approved Inspector Building control service. The choice of the type of BCB belongs to the developer/land owner. Some types of building work can also be self-certified through the governments Competent Person Scheme (CPS), as an alternative to getting building regulations approval by a Building Control Body.

If a developer chooses to use an improved inspector instead of Local Authority Building Control Service then the inspector and developer are jointly responsible for submitting an ‘Initial notice’ to the LA. The LA then has 5 days to respond to the notice or possibly reject it if any details are incorrect. After the notice has been received, the responsibility for plan checking, building inspections and regulation compliance audits becomes the responsibility of the Approved Inspector. Once work is complete, the inspector will submit a ‘final certificate’ confirming that work has been done as per building regulations meaning that the LA is not required to carry out any further checks.

4.9  Standards and Areas of Jurisdiction


Competition between Local Authority Building Control and Approved inspectors has seen a variation in Building Control Standards. As a results, in 1999 the Building Control Performance Standards Advisory Group first issued documentation on expected standards, again revised in 2006.

The Department for Communities and Local Governments (2017) states that “The Standards and supporting guidance establish the level of performance considered as a minimum in carrying out those tasks so that a Building Control Body’s duties and responsibilities under the legislation are adequately discharged” meaning that all building control work establishes a base line on compliance.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published ‘Approved Documents’ to provide general guidance and practical example on how to ensure building regulations are adhered to (see appendix 4). Either BCB will carry out site visits to conclude if building regulations are being met, if this is not the case then the form of prosecution through the Magistrate’s court and a consequential fine may be issued. Although approved inspectors can be responsible for overseeing building control compliance, only the local authority has jurisdiction to impose enforcement action. However, prosecution may only take place up to two years following completion of works and enforcement notices may only be serves up to 12 months after. In the case of the later, the builder has 28 days to rectify any problems

4.10 Obtaining Approval and Rights of Appeal Process


In order to obtain Building Control compliance a Building Regulations application needs to be made, the responsibility of doing this is held by the person carrying out the work.

Planning approval and Building Regulation Approval are three different processes which all require approval. Unlike planning permission, Building Regulation Approval can happen either before work commences or at specified time periods throughout the project by apply to your local building control team in one of two ways:

1. Submission of full plans-this allows plans to be approved before work commences. The plans need to include drawings, calculations and specifications in order to be approved. Submitting this type of application reduces the risk of contravening the regulations and helps avoid costly delays. If your plans comply with the Building Regulations you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. If the local authority is not satisfied then the builder may be asked to make amendments or provide more details. Alternatively, a conditional approval may be issued. When work is complete to an adequate standard then a ‘completion certificate’ will be issued by the Local Authority to confirm the all building regulations have been adhered to.

2. Building Notice-this process involves visits from building inspectors to confirm that building regulations have been met on site. However there is a risk with this option as no plans are required and work carried out may need altering or upgrading to meet requirements. This procedure does not involve the passing or rejecting of plans. It therefore avoids the preparation of detailed ‘full plans’, and is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small work. When work is complete to an adequate standard then a ‘final certificate’ will be issued by the building inspector to confirm the all building regulations have been adhered to.

3. Regulation Application are made retrospectively for work which has been conducted without prior permissions.

4.11 Appealing Building Control Notices


There are two processes of appeal against building endorsement notices: Statutory determination procedure, relaxation/dispensation appeals.

Determination applications are made to the Secretary of State but can only be made if full plans have previously been submitted, as this is the case then determination can usually only be applied for before work commences although it is possible to make at any stage following a notice being issued.

If it is felt that Building Regulations in question is too onerous, inappropriate or unreasonable in your particular circumstances then you can apply for dispensation. When appealing for the relaxation/dispensation of building regulation requirement, it must be possible to prove why the requirement is not relevant for the project. As the Department for Communities and Local Government (2011;6) explains, “As the requirements in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations are ‘functional’ and primarily relate to ‘reasonable standards of health and safety’, it may be difficult for a local authority or the Secretary of State to relax or dispense with these requirements unless there are exceptional circumstances.” Therefore, relaxation or dispensation application against Health and Safety standards is not often a viable option unless in the case of extenuating circumstances so then the determination process is likely to be the most successful option.

An appeal must be made with 12 months of the appeal unless a different date is specified on the notice. Written confirmation of the appeal outcome will be provided by the Local Authority within one month including reasons for refusal if relevant. If the Local Authority does refuse the appeal then there is the option to appeal to the Secretary of State who will respond within four months.

4.12 Enforcement and dangerous buildings

Section 25 of the Building Act requires Building Regulation Compliance meaning that buildings are to comply with required provisions of the building regulations. Building control service is responsible for investigating reports of suspected dangerous buildings or structure which may have become dangerous for a number of reasons including settlement, old age, damage through fire or explosion, storm damage, vehicle impact or design defects. The term ‘dangerous structure’ doesn’t just include whole builds but parts of buildings, walls, fencing, hoarding etc. too.

Under section 26 of The Building Act (Continuing  Requirements Enforcement Notices), if a structure is deemed to be a risk to the health and safety of people using or visiting the building then the owners will be instructed to make the building safe at their own cost through the issue of a defective Building Notice. However, under section 29 of the building Act, if a building constitutes an immediate danger to persons in or about it or to the public generally or to adjacent buildings or places the LA are responsible for taking immediate actions to prevent access to the building and adjacent infrastructure, to protect the public and their property and to remove the danger, if necessary this may include the demolition of the structure.

  1. Conclusion


5.1 Analysis and Evaluation of Planning Legislation

The impact of the TCPA has meant that the development of land has been regulated, environmental impacts from developments can be protected against and sustainable development can be planned for. Moreover, it provides opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop which in term leads to a better organised, balanced and accepted development of land and buildings. Furthermore, the Act allows for enforcement of a fair, regulated development system allowing clarity within development expectations and outcomes. It could be argued that the Town and Country Planning act can be perceived as ‘out of date’. However, The UK Department of the Environment has claimed that the town and country planning system has served the country well and that it is an important instrument for protecting and enhancing the environment in town and country, preserving both built and natural heritage (PPG1, 1992, paragraph 2). Moreover, British planning law is incremental with one piece of legislation building on previous meaning that the TCPA has remained current and relevant with the introduction of supporting subsequent acts including the CPA and PCPA. It is through this process that Britain has such a robust and effective planning system which both looks to the future whilst implementing effective building controls.

Similarly, the Building Regulations 2010 and the Building Act 2008 mean that all building work is carried out safely and accurately to enable the regulated, sustainable development of buildings and land. The Act allows for safe and trustworthy developments as well as standardised expectations as to building quality. Building Control Performance Standards states (2014;2) suggests “It is difficult to measure in precise terms the success of building control in helping the industry achieve compliance.” However, the introduction of Building Standards and the requirement for continuous improvement strategies means that the impact of building regulations will continue to strength the positive health/safety, environmental and socio-economic impacts of future developments. Furthermore, the building Act 2008 allows for timelier and predictable decisions on infrastructure enabling increased economic growth and international competitiveness, in particular with infrastructure such as energy plant etc. This in turn strengthens the national position on sustainability and thus allows quality of life to be improved.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act was written to build on and support the Town and Country Planning Act with simpler and more effective planning systems. This introduction of simplicity has help to ease the past recession and helped ease a possible future house shortage by introducing revised, simpler and more transparent planning controls and application procedures. Something also achieved under the Act with the extension of permitted development rights. The act also includes guidance more transparent planning decisions which has allowed the public to better trust the planning decisions made by LAs, in turn helping to increase the scope and quantity of local developments (including major infrastructure developments) and consequentially work towards improving sustainable development. Moreover, the introduction of spatial planning in the PCPA means that LAs can better plan for future developments by having a clearer overview of the Communities’ future developments, something which is imperative if sustainability is to be planned for and managed.

The Planning and Compensation Act 1991 provided new and improved powers for the enforcement of planning control which have enabled LAs to more quickly and effectively tackle breaches of planning leading to a more respected, and abided by, planning control procedures. It could be suggested that consequentially all future building/land developments are better controlled and regulated, not only due to the increased powers of Planning Control Teams, but also due to developers being aware of these powers. However, it has been suggested by The Scottish Office (2018 [Online]) that although the PCA gives more power to enforce notices, a lack of resources ability to impose further sanction without seeking advice from the court, is preventing this from happening. It could be argued that this is less a reflection on the successfulness of the legislation but more on the failure of Local Authorities to use the legislation effectively. Yet the Act provides clarified procedures for developers to access to prevent this from being the case.

In conclusion, The Town and Country Planning Act provides overarching legislation as to when and how planning permission should be granted. This is then built on with the Planning and compulsory Purchase Act which introduces a simplified planning system better suited for a fast passed, evolving economy striving to achieve sustainable development. With this comes the need for better enforcement legislation and thus the Planning and Compensation Act and similarly the Building Regulations and Building Control Act. The purpose of which is to ensure that all future developments are carried out lawfully, safely and in the interest of sustainable development. Gig (????) writes that developers “attempt to improve things by two mechanisms: (1) a vision of the future, usually in the form of a plan; (2) by attempting to manage change in accordance with the plan, mainly by the power to refuse or improve conditions of (…) ‘development control’.” Therefore, it is possible to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of current planning and building legislation based on how effective it is at providing and managing planning developments for future generations. As the Building Control Performance Standards states (2014;2), “the test of effective (…) control is its success in helping to achieve reasonable standards of health, safety, (..)and sustainability for building users.” Therefore, the combination of these key pieces of legislations mean that the country has clear, effective, transparent and successful planning/building regulations which allows for safe, regulated and approved developments.

6.0 References

Designing Buildings Wiki (2018) Available at: [Accessed September 2018].

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018) National Planning Policy Framework. London; APS Group

Parliament.Uk (2018) Planning Act 2008 Available at: [Accessed September 2018].

Gov.UK (2018) Lawful Development Certificates. Available at, [Accessed September 2018].

Stroud District Council (2018) Planning Enforcement Policies and Procedures. Available at: [Accessed September 2018].

Designing Buildings Wiki (2018) Building Regulations Available at: [Accessed September 2018].

Department for the Communities and Local Government (2011) Guide to determinations and appeals under the Building Act 1984. London: DCLG Publications

Scottish Government (2018) Review of Planning Enforcement. Available at [Accessed September 2018]

Department for the Communities and Local Government (2017)

Building Control Performance Standards. London: OGL Publications









  1.               Bibliography

8.0 Appendices

  1.            Appendix A


Permitted Development Restrictions Other relevant information
Erection of various types of out buildings Cannot cover more than 50% of the garden space. In Scotland this is reduced to 30%. 

Must be single storey, max height 4m for a pitched roof or 3m for any other kind of roof. The eaves height must be no more than 2.5 metres.

In Wales and Northern Ireland any outbuildings closer to the house than 5m count as extensions. In Scotland any outbuildings larger than 4m² and closer to the dwelling than 5m count as extensions. 

No outbuilding can be forward of the original dwelling.

Extension Only by 8m to the rear if it’s single storey or 3m if it’s double. 

Two storey extensions must not be closer than 7m to the rear boundary.

It must be built in the same or similar material to the existing dwelling.

Extensions must not go forward of the building line of the original dwelling.

Side extensions must be single storey, maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original building.

Semi-detached and terraced homes can be extended up to 6m to the rear of the property if single storey. 

In Designated Areas side extensions require planning permission and all rear extensions must be single storey.

You can only do it once and the original building is either as it was on 1st July 1948 or when it was built. In Northern Ireland it is as it was built or as it was on 1st October 1973.

An extension must not result in more than half the garden being covered.

Conversion of non-domestic buildings into Homes Windows that do not project further than 150mm are permitted In March 2013 a new system was introduced to allow the conversion of barns into dwellings. Permission would still be required via the prior approvals process, but it created potential for more conversion opportunities than before.
Addition of roof lights, windows Subject to design constraints Dormer windows require planning permission
Convert loft space Only by up to 50m³ in a detached house, or by 40m³ within any other home


  1.            Appendix B

The picture below shows an overview of the planning application process.

Planning application stages

Source: Crawley Borough Council (2018 [Online]. Available at ( [Accessed September 2018]


  1.            Appendix 3

The following page shows the full definition of ‘Building Works’ as per Building Regulations 2010

Meaning of building work

3.—(1) In these Regulations “building work” means—

(a)the erection or extension of a building;

(b)the provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting in or in connection with a building;

(c)the material alteration of a building, or a controlled service or fitting, as mentioned in paragraph (2);

(d)work required by regulation 6 (requirements relating to material change of use);

(e)the insertion of insulating material into the cavity wall of a building;

(f)work involving the underpinning of a building;

(g)work required by regulation 22 (requirements relating to a change of energy status);

(h)work required by regulation 23 (requirements relating to thermal elements);

(i)work required by regulation 28 (consequential improvements to energy performance).

(2) An alteration is material for the purposes of these Regulations if the work, or any part of it, would at any stage result—

(a)in a building or controlled service or fitting not complying with a relevant requirement where previously it did; or

(b)in a building or controlled service or fitting which before the work commenced did not comply with a relevant requirement, being more unsatisfactory in relation to such a requirement.

(3) In paragraph (2) “relevant requirement” means any of the following applicable requirements of Schedule 1, namely—

  • Part A (structure)
  • paragraph B1 (means of warning and escape)
  • paragraph B3 (internal fire spread—structure)
  • paragraph B4 (external fire spread)
  • paragraph B5 (access and facilities for the fire service)
  • Part M (access to and use of buildings).

Source: Building Regulations 2010. Available at [Accessed September 2018]

8.4  Appendix 4

The following page provides an overview of the Supporting Documents.

Approved Document Coverage Summary (Guidance on…)
A A1-Loading 

A2-Ground Movement,

A3-Disproportionate Collapse

Requirements for foundations and ground bearing structures.
B B1-Means of Warning and Escape 

B2-Internal fire spread (linings)

B3- Internal fire spread ( Structure)

B4-External fire spread

B5-Access and facilities for the fire service

Fire safety and precautions to take.
C C1-Preparing a site and ensuring it is resistant to any contaminants 

C2-Ensuring a site is resistant to moisture

Preparation which should be undertaken before construction work commences
D D1-Cavity insulation and preventing fumes from entering the property Preventing exposure to fumes caused by cavity wall insulation.
E E1-Protection from unwanted sound from separate parts of a building and adjoining buildings 

E2-Protection from sound within a house or home

E3-Reverberation that occurs within common internal areas of a building that contains flats or residential rooms

E4-The acoustic condition of school buildings and properties

Sound and sound proofing.
F F1-Means of ventilation and air flow within a domestic or non-domestic building or structure Ventilation
G G1-Supply of cold water 

G2-Efficient use of water

G3-Supply of hot water and hot water systems

G4-Washing facilities and sanitary conveniences


G6-Food prep areas and kitchens

Efficiency and sanitation of water supply.
H H1-Drainage of foul water 

H2-Cesspools and wastewater treatment systems

H3-Drainage of rainwater

H4-Building and construction over and around sewers

H5-Separate drainage systems

H6-Storage of solid waste

Efficiency and sanitation of drainage and waste disposal.
J J1-Supply of air 

J2-Combustion by-product discharge and safe dispersal

J3-Carbon monoxide warning

J4-The protection of the building

J5-Providing correct and relevant information

J6-Correct protection of liquid fuel storage systems

J7-Protecting against pollution

Storage of fuel and combustible materials.
K K1-Protection from falling 

K2-Protection from impact

K3-Protection from collision

Protection of people against impacts, collisions and falls.
L L1A for power and fuel conservation in new dwelling building 

L1B for power and fuel conservation in existing dwelling buildings

L2A for power and fuel conservation in non-dwelling new buildings

L2B for power and fuel conservation in non-dwelling existing buildings

Technology and regulation change
M M1-Accessing and using a building or dwelling 

M2-Accessing extensions to buildings that are not dwellings

M3-Accessing sanitary conveniences in extensions to a building that is not a dwelling

M4-Accessing sanitary conveniences in a dwelling

Ease of access to buildings.
N N1-Protection against impact with glass and glazing 

N2-Manifestation of glass and glazing within and around a property

N3-Ensuring windows, skylights and ventilation points open and close safely

N4-Accessing windows and glazing safely for cleaning

The use of glass and glazing in buildings
P N1-The electrical safety in dwellings

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