A new Building Control regime comes into force on 1 October 2023 – see our news page for more details.

What is Building Control?

What is Building Control?

All building work carried out 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.

Please Note: 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.

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Ten essential functions of Building Control

  • Encourage innovation to produce energy efficient and sustainable buildings
  • Support local, regional and national businesses
  • Educate and inform building professionals, contractors and trades people
  • Defend vulnerable communities and householders
  • Drive out rogue traders
  • Safeguard the investments of individuals and companies
  • Enhance access for disabled, sick, young and old people
  • Protect the community from dangerous structures
  • Provide advice in support of the emergency services
  • Ensure sports grounds and public venues are safe for crowds

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What is the difference between planning and building control?

It is generally realised that a form of permission is required for building work or alterations of properties. However, it may not always be clear how the Planning and Building Regulations approval regimes differ.

Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings 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.

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 the planning pages.

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

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Building Control and Planning Agents Forum

The Agents Forum is usually held annually and provides an opportunity for agents to discuss and feedback on any aspect of Haringey’s Planning and Building Control services. It is also an opportunity for us to inform agents of changes, relating to planning and building control, which may affect them.

For further information about the agents forum and details of how to attend, please see the agents forum page.

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Building Regulations Policy Statement

The council is of the opinion that the Building Regulation function can only be effectively performed on the under-mentioned basis, allowing operation to be exercised by Building Control staff using their professional skill and judgment, and subject to workload and staff availability.

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Building Control Enforcement Policy

The primary function of the Building Control service is to protect people’s health and safety in the built environment. This involves, among other things, enforcing the following legislation:

  • The Building Act 1984
  • The Building Safety Act 2022
  • The Building Regulations and other allied legislation
  • The London Building Acts (Amendment Act) 1939 (or superseding similar legislation)
  • The Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1966
  • The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975
  • Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987

In so doing, we aim to enforce in an equitable, practical and consistent manner.

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Our Service Standards

A set of service standards have been produced to provide information on what you can expect from the Building Control service.

The quality of service we offer is important. We try to offer a consistent quality service to all clients:

  • Most building control officers hold a relevant qualification, which cover a wide range of disciplines including surveying, structural engineering, public health and fire engineering. There are many years of experience available to call on and our officers regularly attend training courses to ensure that they are up to date with modern methods of construction. A multi-functional service is offered covering structures, fire precautions, services, drainage and where appropriate liaison with other council departments may be carried out to offer a team approach
  • We participate in ISO 9001:2015 accreditation  - which is a Quality Management System which demonstrates we are committed to meeting customer agreements and legal requirements for working in a planned, consistent and documented manner
  • A progressive approach is adopted to help you obtain the best possible value for money. We will consider all new methods and materials of construction, based on our own experience and, if necessary, other expert advice
  • Maximum use of new technology is made and state-of-the-art software to check engineer's calculations as well as other aspects of the proposed work such as heat loss from buildings and energy (SAP) ratings of new buildings may be utilised to ensure a speedy and accurate response
  • Extensive records on properties are maintained so that future owners can plan further works with confidence. This also means that prospective purchasers can ensure that work carried out in the past has been inspected and approved. This information can also be analysed to give prior warning of any potential problems, particularly in relation to ground conditions
  • Close liaison is maintained with building control offices in other local authorities to share our experience and exchange knowledge and information. On a national level, this is through the Local Authority Building Control (LABC), and the London District Surveyors Association (LDSA) on a more local level

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Contact us


Building Control
Level 5
Alexandra House
10 Station Road
Wood Green
N22 7TR

Tel 020 8489 5504

Request an inspection

Make a general enquiry

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Page last updated:

May 22, 2023