Here you will find information about Planning, Building Control & Fire Safety.
What is planning and how is it different to Building Control?
Planning is the stage before Building Control. Sometimes a building will need to be approved by building control but not need planning permission. It is best to check the Planning Portal for all issues relating to planning. The Portal can be used by anyone in England and Wales wanting to either find out information about the planning system or make a planning application.
Why is Planning covered by both District and County Council in Hertfordshire?
In Hertfordshire there are eleven planning authorities (one for each District Council and one is the County Council).
The County Council deal with planning applications for minerals (e.g. for a quarry) and waste (e.g. a recycling facility.) For information about waste and minerals planning click here.
District Councils deal with all other planning except minerals and waste. It is most likely that you would need to speak to your District Council for a planning application. Find out their contact details on Talk to Reg website.
When will I need planning permission?
There is not a set answer for this as it varies between the ten different District Councils. First step would be to check the Planning Portal and then, if you are still not sure, check Talk to Reg website to get the contact details for your District Council planning team.
How do I make a planning application?
You can submit a planning application directly through the Planning Portal and it will be received by the correct District Council.
RIBA: It may also be useful to look at the Royal Institute of British Architects website if you want to find an architect for the work you want to carry out.
What is Building Control?
Building Control and planning permission are different processes and sometimes you may need approvals both from different areas. Building Control (or sometimes referred to as building regulations) ensures that any changes to a property or any new buildings built are in line with the various current legislation and that changes are made to a high standard and will have no negative impact on the occupiers or the wider public.
When would I need to contact Building Control?
You would usually need approval from Building Control to construct new buildings, add extensions on to existing buildings or make other alterations to existing buildings. However often you will also need planning permission first before you contact building control. If you are unsure, look on the Talk to Reg website.
Useful websites for building control:
What is Fire Protection?
The work of the Fire Service is varied, part of their work is to respond to emergencies but another side is working with businesses to ensure that buildings are compliant with fire regulation. Fire Protection Officers will inspect buildings and review plans to ensure that all buildings are compliant with the Fire Safety Order 2005.
How do I speak to Fire Protection?
Often the Fire Service will become involved automatically through the planning or building control process as the plans for changes/new buildings will be sent to them via the District or Borough Council or the Approved Inspector. Fire Protection is a statutory consultee for all building control applications so your plans will be sent onto them automatically at this stage. Usually the Approved Inspector or the District/Borough Council co-ordinate all conversations with the various statutory consultees. Look at the Talk to Reg website to find contact details for your local Fire Protection team.
Useful websites for Fire Protection
What are Hertfordshire Highways?
Click here for more information.
Other things to consider
The Environmental Health Team in each District Council will be responsible for protecting public health and monitoring pollution levels.
Getting waste collected from my business?
As a business you will need to arrange for your waste to be collected by a licensed private waste management company or your local authority. If you do not organise this your waste will not be collected. Click here for advice from The Environment Agency.
What might seem confusing to you is something that the local Council will deal with regularly, so if in doubt – Talk to Reg.