When Building Regulations are not needed

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Not all buildings and extensions need Building Regulation consent before being erected. Garages, sheds, workshops or any other detached building of any construction that contains no sleeping accommodation can be erected without the need for approval, as long as the floor area does not exceed 15m2.

Similar types of detached buildings, more than 15m2 but under 30m2 in floor area, may also be erected without the need for consent. However, if a building is to be built of mainly combustible materials it must be positioned at least one metre from the property boundary.

The extension of a building consisting of a conservatory, porch, covered yard, covered way or carport is also exempt from control, as long as the floor area of the extension does not exceed 30m2. In the case of a conservatory or porch, any glazing with which people are likely to come into contact while moving about the building must be protected or made from safety glass.

For a full account of exempt structures please refer to the Building Regulations or contact the team to discuss it further.

Exemptions from Building Regulations

The following diagram and list gives information on buildings and works which are exempt from the Building Regulations:

Diagram of works that are exempt from Building Regulations


  1. Shed or similar (no sleeping accommodation) less than 15m² floor area;
  2. Conservatory less than 30m² floor area, providing at least 75% of roof and 50% walls are made of translucent material and separating door is retained to the dwelling;
  3. Porch less than 30m² floor area, providing the separating door is retained to the dwelling;
  4. Covered way, covered yard or car port, open on at least two sides, less than 30m² floor area;
  5. Garage or other detached building (no sleeping accommodation) either: less than 30m² floor area and substantially non-combustible or, less than 30m² floor area and 1.0m or more from boundary.


  • Buildings controlled under other legislation such as ancient monuments;
  • Detached buildings not frequented by people such as those used solely for housing plant and machinery;
  • Most greenhouses and agricultural buildings.

The above buildings are not exempt if used for retail, packing or exhibiting purposes.

  • Temporary buildings erected for not more than 28 days;
  • Site huts and other similar ancillary buildings which contain no sleeping accommodation.

Exempt works and Planning Permission

Works that are exempt from the Building Regulations might still require Planning Permission. You are advised to contact an Ipswich Borough Council Planning Officer if you are in any doubt.

Contact Details

Building Control,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000

Monday to Friday 08:30 - 17:00

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01473 433444

After 17:00 and weekends (for out of hours emergencies only)