Do I need building regulations approval?

Most building works carried out in Bedford Borough require building regulation approval.

Works needing building regulations approval


  • erection of a new building
  • re-erection of an existing building
  • extension of a building
  • material alteration to a building
  • material change of use of a building
  • installation, alteration or extension of a controlled service
  • installation, alteration or extension of a controlled fitting

Works not needing building regulations approval 

The following works may be undertaken without obtaining building regulations approval:

Small detached buildings, sheds and garages

  • A detached building with a floor area less than 15m2 which does not contain sleeping accommodation.
  • A detached single storey building with a floor area less than 30m2 which does not contain sleeping accommodation and is at least 1m from any boundary or is made from substantially non-combustible material.

Small extensions

A single storey ground floor extension less then 30m2 which consists of a conservatory*, porch, covered yard, covered way or carport which is open on at least two sides.

* For a conservatory to be classed as an exempt extension, it will need to:

  • be thermally separated from the rest of the building
  • have at least 50% of its walls and 75% of its roof constructed of translucent material
  • have independent heating/cooling
  • have glazing that satisfies the requirements of K4, K5.1, K5.2, K5.3 and K5.4 of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulation. 

Greenhouses and agricultural buildings

  • Any greenhouse or agricultural building which is not used for retailing, packaging or exhibiting.
  • A building used for agriculture, or a building principally for keeping animals provided that:
    • no part is used as a dwelling
    • the building is at least 1.5 times its height from any building containing sleeping accommodation
    • no point in the building is less than 30m from a fire exit

Further information

If the work includes any electrical installation, your proposal is not listed above or you would like further clarification then please contact us.


Building Control
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP
Tel: 01234 718081

Please note that even if the works you are proposing are exempt from Building Regulations other approvals may be required. We recommend that you contact Development Services to ascertain if Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent is required.