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Building control

Building control and planning are two distinct types of service, which can affect the construction and appearance of buildings. For most building work, two separate applications are needed to get both building regulation and planning consent.


Major work needs planning permission from the council but much minor work may not. A good place to start when seeking further advice is to find out about development not needing planning permission or visiting the Planning Portal, the government's one stop guide to the planning process.

If you intend to submit a planning application it is a good idea to seek pre application planning advice.

The Development Management Team is responsible for determining planning applications, controlling the location, siting, design, layout and appearance of buildings and land uses. The Development Management and Enforcement Teams regulate development proposals within a framework of legislation.

Building control

The majority of building work requires building regulation approval, with only a few minor types of work being exempt. Medway Council’s building control service is delivered through the South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership, which also covers the Gravesham and Swale councils areas.

The main function of the Partnership is to ensure that new building work is carried out in accordance with the building regulations. This is done by checking the plans and details submitted with an application and then inspecting the construction work as it progresses on site.

In general the building regulations are intended to:

  • safeguard the health and safety of people in and around buildings
  • conserve energy
  • provide access and facilities for disabled people.

While building regulation work forms a large part of what the Partnership does, building control covers much more. It also includes:

For a further guidance on the differences between the two services that may affect your property, visit the building regulations section of the Planning Portal website.