Building regulations

Building regulations exist to ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and about buildings. They also include provisions for energy conservation and for access and facilities for disabled people.

Any person wishing to erect, extend or change the use of a building or install or alter a controlled service or fitting must comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations are the national technical standards and performance requirements to be applied and achieved when carrying out building work and must by law be complied with where relevant Building Regulations cover all aspects of construction, including foundations, damp-proofing, the overall stability of the building, insulation, ventilation, heating, fire protection and means of escape in case of fire, drainage and waste disposal, stairways, heating appliances and glazing in critical locations. They also ensure that adequate facilities for people with disabilities are provided in certain types of building.

Technical guidance on meeting the requirements of the Building Regulations are contained in The Approved Documents and are regularly updated.


The Approved Documents


The main functional requirements for building work are contained within the Approved Documents. The functional guides cover everything from foundation design to ventilation and fire safety.

All of the approved documents can be accessed via The Planning Portal and can be downloaded for free.

Approved Documents


What's New

The Building Regulations are subject to frequent changes and we are subject to many updates on how to implement the required standards. In this section we will post new guidance and decisions as we receive them. Please feel free to visit as many times as you wish.

New Building Control Charges


The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 have been introduced by the government and supersede the current 1998 regulations.

They came into force 1 April 2010 and had to be in place by 1 October 2010.

The aim is to ensure greater flexibility and accountability of the charges that each local authority is now responsible for setting within laid down administrative and accounting requirements.

The new regulations make a number of modifications and departures to the previous provisions, in particular the following:

  • LAs to be able to charge for carrying out their current five building control chargeable functions and also to charge for providing substantive pre-application advice consisting of one hour or more.
  • A new overriding accounting objective to as nearly as possible break even and achieve full cost recovery, and produce an approved annual financial statement of accounts.
  • LAs to calculate charges by relating the average hourly rate of  building control surveyors to the time spent carrying out their services in relation to the type of work, and taking into account an increased number of other factors.
  • LAs to fix a charge in relation to building work either by reference to standardised charges, determined and published, or by making an individual determination (with the agreement of the applicant).
  • LAs to make refunds of charges where they have carried out less work than they have received payment for, and to request supplementary charges where more work has been carried out than they have received payment for.
  • LAs to set out in their charging scheme their provision for consideration and handling of complaints.
  • An increase in the minimum and maximum level of fees for questions relating to conformity of plans of proposed building work with building regulations, which are referred to the Secretary of State for his determination.

South Somerset's scheme

The scheme is arranged as four tables as follows:

  • Table A - Standard charges for the creation of or conversion to new housing including flats and apartments.
  • Table B
    • Standard charges for domestic extensions and building works to a single building and,
    • Standard charges for extensions and building works to an industrial or commercial building.
  • Table C - Standard charges for domestic alterations to a single building not falling within the categories of Table B.
  • Table D - Other non-domestic work - extensions and new build not falling within the second categories of Table B relating to an industrial or commercial building.

You can download the charges sheet The Building Control Charges sheet applicable from 1 April 2013.

The page of guidance notes to the charges sheet gives further clarification on the scheme including Regularisation and Partnership scheme applications


Revised Charges - Applicable from 1st April 2013

The Building Act 1984

The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regs 2010

All enquiries regarding building control charges should be emailed to with an outline plan/other details if possible. We will endeavour to get a quote back to you within one working day.