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Exempt Buildings

Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations defines certain work as being exempt from the procedural requirements of the Building Regulations and thus do not require to be submitted as an application.  These pages paraphrase the wording to the Schedule and contain additional explanatory notes for your guidance.

These are defined by classes:

Class I   - buildings controlled under other legislation
- Explosive Acts 1875 and 1923
- Nuclear Installations Act 1965
- Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

Class II     - buildings not frequented by people (or only for maintaining fixed plant or machinery)

These should be 1½ times the height of the building from any other  building that is frequented  by people, or to a boundary.

Class III    - Greenhouses and Agricultural Buildings

- no part of building to be used as a dwelling
- should be 1½ times buildings height from any building containing sleeping accommodation
- the building should have a fire exit not more than 30m from any point in the building
- the building should not be used for retail, packing or exhibiting

Class IV   - Temporary Buildings

Maximum 28 days on site

Class V    - Ancillary Buildings

- on a site for sale of buildings or plots on that site.  e.g. sales room on a housing estate
- building on building site or engineering works used for that site and not containing sleeping accommodation e.g. site office etc.
- building used for a mine or quarry, but not dwelling, office or showroom.

Class VI   - Small Detached Buildings  (such as garages, games rooms etc)

- detached, single storey with floor area (measured internally) of less than 30m² with no sleeping accommodation
- has more than 1m to the boundary or
- if less than 1m is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials
- Nuclear shelters or similar of less than 30m² in floor area provided that its distance from any other building is its depth plus 1 metre.
- A detached building of less than 15m² in floor area is exempt no matter where it is sited provided that it contains no sleeping accommodation.

Class VII  - Extensions

- the extension at ground level of
a) a conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way, or
b) a carport open on at least 2 sides
where the floor area is less than 30m² is generally exempt.

NOTES A conservatory should have at least 75% of its roof and 50% of its new walls glazed.  It should have suitable safety glazing and it should be separated from the rest of the building by a wall, doors or structural screen. These doors etc should be to external standard, i.e. be double glazed to current standards.

This is to ensure that it is not included as part of the heated, and therefore insulated part of the building.  This is aimed at minimising heat losses and therefore Carbon Dioxide emissions.  It follows that the conservatory should not contain anything (for example kitchen units) that makes it effectively a habitable extension.

The conservatory may have a small, self-contained heater, or can be connected to the central heating system via a single radiator, provided it has its own discreet controls such as a thermostatic radiator valve.

Porches of greater than minimal dimension may not be exempt unless they are in proportion to the building.  A 30m² porch would not be exempt on a small terraced house for example.  The porch should be situated over a principal entrance door and the door to the dwelling left in place, -(without this it would be deemed an extension and heat loss would need to be considered).  Glazing should be appropriate as with conservatories. 

Covered yards and covered ways are structures that either link buildings, such as detached garages, to a house; or provide a small semi-protected extension e.g. a veranda.

It is suggested that where a building may be exempt, a letter of confirmation is sought from the Council.  Such a letter should contain details (sketch plans where possible) showing size, position and construction.  This will enable the Council to confirm the position under both Building Regulations and Town and Country Planning, this may save considerable problems at a later date.

Updated: 23 Oct 2014
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