Building Control

Guidance Notes

The Planning Portal is an online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales providing comprehensive information and guidance documents.  Access the Planning Portal website .  In addition, you may find some of the following guidance notes useful.

Achieving better Acoustic Performance - A 12 page document giving guidance on workmanship to achieve better acoustic performance. (PDF, 460.83KB, 12 pages).

Access for the Fire Service (Dwellings) - In any proposed development, provision must be made to enable fire appliances to gain access to the building, and facilities must also be provided to assist fire fighters in the protection of life.  Please note this applies to dwellings only. (PDF, 95KB, 2 pages).

Building Control Department  - This guidance note provides an introduction to the Building Control Department, including advice on requesting a site inspection and the completion of work. From this sheet you will be able to discover who the Building Control Surveyor is for your area. (PDF, 133KB, 2 pages) .

Choosing a Builder - Having obtained the necessary Building Regulation and Planning Permission (where required) your next decision may be in selecting a person to carry out the work. If you are not going to do all or any of the work yourself your choice of builder is clearly important. It would be improper for the Council to recommend a builder however our advice sheet may prove useful. View the guidance leaflet  (PDF, 268KB, 2 pages). You could also find a builder via the Isle of Wight Trading Standards Approval Scheme, all members of this scheme have undergone a series of detailed background checks before being approved as a member of the scheme. Use the serarch term 'build'.

Dangerous Structures - The powers for dealing with dangerous structures are contained in the Building Act 1984. Any buildings or structures that appear to be dangerous should be reported immediately to Building Control Surveyor, who will treat the matter with the utmost urgency. For further information please view our guidance leaflet (PDF, 166KB, 1 page).

Demolition - Under Section 80 of the Building Act, anyone wishing to demolish or partially demolish a building must complete and submit the necessary Demolition Notice to the Building Control Section.  View the Notice (PDF, 40.1KB, 1 page).  This should be submitted at least six weeks before the intended works commence. The reason for this time-scale is to allow the Building Control Surveyor time to consider what conditions it is necessary to impose, which will vary in each case.  View the guidance leaflet (PDF, 230KB, 1 page).

Domestic Fire Detection - Every year there are about 60,000 fires that occur in the home. These fires result in about 700 deaths and injure over 7000 people. A large number of these deaths could have been prevented if early detection and warning of fire had been given, thus allowing people to escape before it was too late. Quite simply, the longer a fire burns undetected the greater the chance it will cause injury or death.  View the guidance leaflet (PDF, 193KB, 2 pages).

Electrical Safety - Each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe electrical installations in the home. Some of these casualties are due to electrocution and others from fires in the home resulting from unsafe installations.  On the 1st January 2005, Building Regulations (Part P) came into force with the aim of reducing this risk.

View our guidance leaflet (PDF, 189KB, 2 pages).  In addition, general advice, guidance and information in easy to understand formats is available from the 'Electrical Safety First' website.

Exempt Buildings  - These notes are for domestic property only and refer only to exempt buildings under the Building Regulations. Advice given is for guidance only and not intended to be a full or binding list of the statutory exemptions. It is advised that you submit a sketch plan with a written enquiry and obtain confirmation with regard to any exemptions you are seeking.   (PDF, 234KB, 2 pages).

Extensions - This advice sheet aims to provide basic technical guidance to those proposing to build and extension. However, you are advised to maintain contact with Building Control to ensure you are constructing your extension in accordance with the Regulations. (PDF, 426KB, 2 pages).

Garage Conversions  - This advice sheet aims to provide basic technical guidance to those proposing to convert their garage to a habitable room. However, it is not an exhaustive list of the requirements of the Building Regulations and you are advised to maintain contact with Building Control. (PDF, 367KB, 2 pages).

Garden Walls - Building Regulations do not apply to garden walls, but garden walls may eventually collapse if they are not properly maintained. They are unfortunately one of the most common causes of death or serious injury from falling masonry. Please check your garden walls from time to time to see if any repairs are necessary, or whether they need rebuilding. (PDF, 189KB, 2 pages).

Historic Buildings  - The Conservation & Design Team, in conjunction with Building Control, have produced a leaflet in respect of Historic Buildings and conservation of fuel and power.  (PDF, 356KB, 4 pages).

Internal Alterations - Most people are aware that permission is required to construct new buildings or extensions. However, permission is also required for many internal alterations, in order to protect both current and future occupants as well as adjoining occupants. For further information please consult our guidance sheet. (PDF, 153KB, 2 pages).

Loft Conversions - Carrying out a loft conversion can often be more complicated than first anticipated. The aim of this advice sheet is to emphasise some of the factors that need to be taken into account when conversion works are proposed.  (PDF, 237KB, 2 pages).

Making an Application  - There are two methods of submitting a Building Regulation Application. This guidance notes defines the two methods and what will be required by the Building Control Department when submitting your application. (PDF, 237KB, 2 pages). 

Party Wall Act - Building Control does not administer the Party Wall Act and the details provided here are solely for assistance. You are advised to seek professional advice if further information is required.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 146KB, 2 pages). 

Radon - Radon is a naturally occurring, colourless, odourless gas, which is radioactive and can enter buildings as a result of passing through cracks and fissures in the sub-soil. In high concentrations over a prolonged period of time, this gas has been linked to lung cancer.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 136KB, 2 pages).

Regularisation Explained - Where work, to which Building Regulations applied, was done without Building Control involvement, regularisation allows the building owner to request inspection with a view to gaining a Completion Certificate for the work.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 197KB, 2 pages).

Renewable Energy - If you wish to install renewable energy sources in existing buildings, it is likely that you will be required to give notification of the works under the Building Regulations. In addition, you may well need Planning Permission for your proposals, and you should contact the Planning Department for advice.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 75KB, 2 pages).

Renovating your Home - a general guide to renovating your home is available to view online as an e-book.

Renovation of Thermal Elements - If you are involved in repairing or renovating a building, it is very important that you are aware of major changes to legislation in 2006 which mean that the Building Regulations now apply to some repair or renovation works, including the replacement of roof coverings.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 135KB, 1 page).

Replacement Windows - Building Regulations now require that replacement windows or doors must comply with strict thermal performance standards. One of the main reasons for this is the need to reduce energy loss and greenhouse gas emissions. View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 221KB, 2 pages). 

Site Inspections & Site Safety - Building operations can be dangerous irrespective of whether it’s a large multi-storey city development or a simple rear extension to a house. This guidance sheet is intended to highlight some of the potential health and safety problems involved in building work so that accidents can be avoided and good working practices promoted and maintained. Advice is also given on how site inspections can be arranged.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 181, 2 pages).

Sound Insulation (New Dwellings) - The Government have confirmed that if approved robust standard details are used in the construction of new dwellings, pre-completion testing will not be required from 1st July 2004. New regulations have been introduced to allow this, and further details of this scheme can be found by viewing our information sheet or by visiting the ‘Robust Details Limited’ website.  View the guidance leaflet.  (PDF, 246KB, 2 pages).

Through Floor Lift Installations in Domestic Properties - Today, more elderly and disabled persons with mobility difficulties are choosing to stay in their family homes. To make this possible, properties often need to be adapted. Through-floor vertical lifts are an example of aids available to enable disabled persons, who are often wheelchair-bound, direct access from floor to floor.  View the guidance leaflet. (PDF, 105KB, 2 pages).