Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Properties

Do I need permission to install or replace an oil or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank, and/or connecting pipework outside my home?

If the installation is above ground the requirements will be applied to achieve adequate shielding of the tank from any surrounding fire and, in the case of an oil tank, containment of oil leakages so that ground water is not contaminated. Where new oil connecting pipework is proposed, a fire valve will be needed at the point where the pipe enters the building. 

If you are installing an oil tank and/or connecting pipework and you employ an installer registered with OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association for the Petroleum Industry), you will not need to involve a Building Control Service, as they will do this for you.

Do I need permission to alter or repair in any way the construction of fireplaces, hearths or flues, in any way which could affect their safe operation and containment of heat?

If the work involves the provision of a new or replacement flue or flue liner, or the provision of a new or replacement hearth, fireplace or chimney you will need permission. Please also refer to the question above Do I need permission to install, replace or alter the position of any type of fuel burning appliance (including a gas boiler with a flue)?

If the work amounts to no more than alterations to fireplaces, hearths, flues and chimneys it may not be subject to the Building Regulations. It is vital that flues should operate efficiently, and that risks of the building catching fire or of people suffering burns should be minimised.

For specific information on your project please contact us.

Do I need permission to install, replace or alter the position of any type of fuel burning appliance (including a gas boiler with a flue)?

In general, but with certain limitations, the registered installers may also carry out associated building work necessary to ensure that the appliance complies with the Building Regulations, without involving a Building Control Service . This may include work on a hearth, fireplace or flue.

The installer should provide you with information about the safety performance limits of the installation and also fix a notice plate in place, where it will be easily seen. If you are having a boiler installed, your installer should leave you with a completed installation record; a commissioning certificate such as the one produced by the BENCHMARK scheme; and a User Instruction Manual.

You will need permission for all gas appliances, however if you employ a GAS SAFE registered installer with the relevant competencies to carry out the work, you will not need to involve a Building Control Service as they will do all of this for you.

For solid fuel appliances you will need permission however if the building is no more than three storeys and you employ an installer registered with HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme) to carry out the work, you will not need to involve a Building Control Service, as they will do this for you

For oil appliances you will need permission however if the building is no more than three storeys and you employ an installer registered with OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association for the Petroleum Industry) to carry out the work, you will not need to involve a Building Control Service as they will do this for you.

Do I need permission to lay new drains and/or install a septic tank within the boundary of my property?

Yes, they will apply to new rainwater or foul drains inside as well as outside the building. The Building Regulations also apply to all non-mains foul sewerage arrangements (i.e. those using septic tanks), including their outlets and drainage fields.

Except in an emergency, CNC should be given at least 24 hours’ notice of any intention to repair any underground drain (section 61 of the Building Act 1984).

Do I need permission to install WC, shower, washbasin, kitchen sink or similar?

If the installation will involve alterations, or new connections to, a drainage stack or an underground drain, you will need permission.  You should also check to find out how much information is required about the fittings you intend to use.

If you are only installing an additional fitting or fittings in the same or a new location which does not involve extensions to the drainage pipework you will not need permission.

Do I need permission to insert insulation into a cavity wall?

This is defined as Building Work, so will require permission however it is more than likely your installer will be able to carry out this work and inform CNC on your behalf.

Do I need permission to underpin all or part of the foundations to my building?

This is defined as Building Work and will require permission. The requirements will be applied so as to ensure that the underpinning will stabilise the movement of the building, paying attention to the effect on any sewers and drains near the work.

Do I need permission to carry out repairs to my building?

If the repair work is significant, or the building is thatched then the Building Regulations, then the Building Regulations may apply. However if the repairs are of a minor nature you will not need permission.  If you are unsure please contact us for specific information.

Do I need permission to install, alter or replace my shop front?

YES – because of the likely effect on the structure, escape and other fire precautions, and access and facilities for disabled people, this type of project is likely to be regarded as a ‘material alteration’, and therefore ‘Building Work’. The appropriate requirements will be applied so as to ensure, for example, that these aspects are addressed together with others such as the safety of the glazing. However, shop display windows do not have to comply with the energy efficiency requirements.

I want to convert my home into a shop or office. Do I need permission?

No. The regulations do not define this particular change of use as ‘material’. However, if your proposed project involves work which will affect the structure of the building, the means of escape and other fire precautions, or affect access and facilities for disabled people, the regulations will regard your work as a ‘material alteration'(and therefore ‘Building Work’) which must then comply with the regulations. You should also check with the local Fire Authority, usually the County Council, to see what ‘on-going’ fire precautions legislation (such as the Fire Precautions Act and/or the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations) will apply when the building is in use.