London Borough of Barnet

Building control

View of new housing development in borough of Barnet

Building control service

All building work carried out in Barnet should meet current building codes and regulation requirements.  

Our Building Control Service ensures that buildings are designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and associated legislation.

It is the responsibility of those carrying out the work to ensure that the provisions of the regulations are fully met. The role of Building Control is only to check that they do so.

Please note: You may have to correct the work or pay a fine if building regulations aren’t followed.

Learn more about the building regulations application process.

The difference between planning and building control

Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land and buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment. For more information about planning please see our

planning pages.

Building Regulations laws set minimum standards for the design and construction of domestic and commercial building work to ensure the health and safety for people in or around those buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and that facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

For many types of building work, separate approval under both regimes (separate processes) will be required. For other building work, such as internal alterations, Building Regulations approval will probably be needed, but Planning permission may not be. You may also have responsibilities under the construction health and safety regulations.

When you need approval

You must check if you need approval before you construct or change buildings in certain ways.

You don’t need to get approval yourself if you use someone registered with a competent person scheme.

The Building Regulations 2010 cover the construction and extension of buildings.

You might also need building regulations approval for many alteration projects, including if you plan to:


  • replace fuse boxes and connected electrics
  • install a bathroom that will involve plumbing
  • change electrics near a bath or shower
  • put in a fixed air-conditioning system
  • replace windows and doors
  • replace roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs
  • install or replace a heating system
  • add extra radiators to a heating system
You could need approval, or to follow special rules, for works not listed here - so always research your particular project.

Check with us if you can’t decide if you need approval.

Please note: You don’t need advance approval for emergency repairs to your boiler or heating system, but there are rules you must follow.

When you don’t need approval

You don’t need to apply for approval yourself if the work isn’t covered by building regulations, or if someone who’s registered with a competent person scheme carries it out.

Work that doesn’t need approval

You don’t need building regulations approval for some exempt projects, including:

You don’t need building regulations approval for some exempt projects, including:

  • most repairs, replacements and maintenance work (except heating systems, oil tanks, fuse boxes and glazing units)
  • new power and lighting points, or changes to existing circuits (except around baths and showers)
  • like-for-like replacements of baths, toilets, basins and sinks

<!--[if !supportLists]-->· Find out more about common projects and check when you do and don’t need approval.

Hire a ‘competent person’

If your project needs approval but you’d rather not apply yourself, you can hire a tradesperson registered with a competent person scheme instead.