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... I want to build a porch

To assist property owners and developers this guidance note explains the Building Regulation Exemptions for porches.

To be exempt from the Building Regulations, a porch extension must comply with all the following criteria:

  1. The porch must be at ground level;
  2. The floor area of the porch must not exceed 30m2;
  3. Any glazing in the porch must satisfy the requirements of Part N of the Building Regulations (Glazing - safety in relation to impact, opening, and cleaning); and
  4. The porch must not contain any sanitary fittings, eg WC, washbasin, shower, bath, sink, or washing machine.
  5. The existing walls, doors and windows which separate the dwelling from the porch must be retained or, if removed, replaced by walls, doors and windows which meet the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations.  (Note: The replacement of walls, doors and/or windows may require Building Regulation approval in any case.)
  6. The dwelling heating system must not be extended into the porch.

If you intend to form a new structural opening in the wall of the building, say to get into the porch, you will need Building Regulation approval for this work and you must make an application before commencing.

Other issues to consider:

  • You may need to obtain other permissions for the work you intend to carry out such as Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent, or Conservation Area Consent and you should contact the Council's Development Control Team in respect of these matters (01884 234260/234262) or email
  • There may be a restrictive covenant on the property which requires you to obtain the express permission of a previous owner before carrying out any work. The Party Wall Act may also apply to the work. Your legal advisor may be able to help you in respect of these matters.
  • Are you going to build over a drain, sewer, or other service pipe to yours or any neighbouring properties? You may need to obtain the permission of the service provider or your neighbours to do that. If the sewer is a Public Sewer you are not allowed to build over the sewer or within 3m of the sewer without the permission of South West Water.