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Building Regulations exemptions

The Building Regulations do not apply to the types of buildings detailed below.

Small detached buildings

  • Single storey buildings, when all of the following conditions are true:
    • with a floor area under 30m²
    • with no sleeping accommodation
    • constructed substantially of non-combustible material. If constructed of combustible material, it must be sited at least 1m from the boundary or curtilage (eg: a detached garage)
  • Nuclear shelters under all of the following conditions:
    • with a floor area under 30m²
    • where the excavation for the shelter is not nearer to any other buildings than the depth of the excavation plus 1m
  • Detached buildings with more than one storey, when the following conditions are true:
    • with a floor area under 15m²
    • with no sleeping accommodation

Extensions to buildings

Extensions at ground level with a floor area not more than 30m², and taking one of the following forms:

  • a conservatory or porch*
  • a covered yard or covered way
  • a carport open on at least two sides

*Conservatories or porches are exempt only if the glazing they contain complies with Part K of the Building Regulations. See our Frequently asked questions page for more details.

Greenhouses and agricultural buildings

  • Greenhouses are only exempt if they are not used for retailing, packing or exhibiting.
  • Agricultural buildings and buildings principally for keeping animals are exempt under the following conditions:
    • they are not used as a dwelling
    • they are at least one and a half times their height from any building where there is sleeping accommodation
    • they have a fire exit not more than 30m from any point in the building

There are other exemptions for buildings controlled under other legislation, ancillary buildings, buildings not frequented by people or temporary buildings (those which are erected for less than 28 days).

If you are unsure whether a building you are proposing is exempt from the Building Regulations, please contact the Building Control Section for assistance.