Do you need a Building Warrant?
The following information is provided as a guide and is not intended to be an exhaustive list.
Some extensions can be added to your house without the need for a Building Warrant from the Comhairle. You can also build some detached buildings without a Building Warrant (for example, some types of garages or greenhouses) provided these detached buildings are to be erected within the curtilage of your house - that is, within the area of ground around your house which is in your ownership.
These exemptions also apply to flats or maisonettes. Some buildings which do not need a Building Warrant may need Planning Permission, and other approvals - for example, Consent to Discharge for septic tanks. It is important that you contact Development Control staff as early as possible to discuss your proposals, in terms of Town and Country Planning legislation, and other agencies such as SEPA and NOSWA, as appropriate, to discuss drainage and water issues.
If you wish to enquire as to whether your proposed work would require a building warrant, please submit one of the following forms to the Building Standards section:
- Do I require a Building Warrant (Domestic)? (PDF, 100K)
- Do I require a Building Warrant (Agricultural)? (PDF, 80K)
Proposed buildings have to be clearly described. The building you are proposing to construct will only be exempt if it meets precisely the descriptions and conditions listed below:
Conservatory means a building attached to a house, which also has a door separating it from that house. It must have a minimum of 75% of its roof area made of transparent or semi-transparent materials, and at least half of the area of its external walls should also be made of transparent or semi-transparent materials.
Porch means a building attached to a house, which also has a doorway into the house.
Carport means a roofed building for parking cars. It must be open on at least two sides, except for roof-supports.
Covered area means a roofed building which must be open on at least two sides, except for roof supports.
Greenhouse means a building in the garden of a house which is used for growing plants. It can be attached to the house so long as it does not have a doorway into the house.
1. Extensions to existing dwellings
Generally if you are building an extension to an existing dwelling house you will require a Building Warrant. The exceptions to this are as follows:
- building warrant is not required to erect a conservatory of less than 8 square metres except for buildings that contain a flue, a fixed combustion appliance or sanitary facilities or a building that is within 1 metre of a boundary;
- building warrant is not required to erect a greenhouse, carport or covered area of less than 30 square metres, except for buildings that contain a flue, a fixed combustion appliance or sanitary facilities.
2. Detached buildings
Generally you will not need a Building Warrant to build a single storey building of less than 30 square metres in area. However, you will need a Building Warrant if the structure you want to build:
- is more than 30 square metres in area;
- is within one metre of the house and less than one metre from any boundary; or
- contains a fixed combustion appliance or sanitary facilities.
Generally, you do not need a Building Warrant to build a single storey carport, covered area or greenhouse. However, you will need a Building Warrant if the structure you want to build:
i) is more than 30 square metres in area; or
ii) contains a fixed combustion appliance or sanitary facilities.
You do not need a Building Warrant to build a wall up to 1.2 metres high.
You do not need a building Warrant to build a fence up to 2 metres high. Please remember, it is the house owner’s responsibility to ensure that any proposed works do not interfere with or cause damage to any public utility services.
5. Replacement Windows
You do not need a Building Warrant for the replacement of windows. However, the windows must in all respects and in the manner of their fitting, meet the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations. It should be noted that if structural alterations are proposed (e.g. the removal of a load bearing mullion) then the structural alterations would require a Building Warrant.