May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Check if you need building control approval

Building regulations apply to most building work, so you need approval before you construct or change buildings in certain ways.

Building regulations approval is different from planning permission. You might need both.

The building regulations make sure that buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient. Planning permission deals with the use of land, the appearance of buildings and the impact on the environment.

You need building control approval for works such as:

  • construction of an extension
  • conversion of a loft or garage into a room
  • structural alterations to your house
  • installation of cavity insulation
  • installation of new or replacement windows
  • conversion of your house into flats
  • underpinning your house
  • drainage work, including installation of a sink or toilet
  • building work  that affects a public sewer

The Planning Portal explains in more detail which work needs building regulations approval.

You can also check if your work needs building regulation approval on the Local Authority Building Control website

If you're still unsure if your development needs approval, contact us.

You do not need to get approval yourself if you use someone registered with a competent person scheme.

Competent person schemes are a way for tradespeople to prove their ability to carry out certain work to required standards, instead of you applying for building regulations approval. 

Contact information

Building Control
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG