Before reading on, please be advised that there are THREE Building Control Authorities on the Isle of Man. The Building Control Section within the Department of Infrastructure covers all areas except for the towns of Douglas and Onchan. Peel was brought under the Government Building Authority in January 2010. The contact details for both Douglas and Onchan can be found on our contacts page.
A consultation concerning a proposal, by the Department of Infrastructure, for a set of new Building (Fees) Regulations for the next three years based on policy of the developer pays principal; in this way over time making the Building Control Service self financing and reduce the cost to tax payers and those of rate payers in Douglas Borough Council and Onchan District Commissioners (where they are Building Control Authorities).
The consultation seeks the views of stakeholders concerning the fees proposed. The consultation does not encompass matters concerning Building Regulations which will be under separate consultation process at a later date. To view the Consultation document please click here.
What legislation covers Building Control?
The present system of Building Control operating throughout the Isle of Man is based on the Building Control Act 1991, supported by the Building Regulations 2007. A copy of these Regulations is available to view or download at the bottom of this page. Generally, the Regulations apply to the construction of new buildings and alterations and extensions. Changes of use are also controlled under the Regulations.
Certain small buildings and extensions are exempt from Building Control. Exempt Buildings. For comprehensive advice on exemptions and what requires Building Regulations approval contact the Department’s Building Control Section, or the Building Authority for your area on the Isle of Man. For more contact information visit contacts.
Link with Planning Permission
In many cases, planning permission will be required in addition to the Building Regulations approval. Both are distinct and different areas of control. Quite often planning permission may be required without the need for Building Regulations approval. The need for either can only be measured by seeking advice from the Planning Authority or the relevant Building Control Authority.
What is the purpose of the Regulations?
To secure reasonable standards of -
- health and safety for persons in or about buildings (and any others who may be affected by buildings, or matters connected with buildings);
- energy conservation;
- access and facilities for people with disabilities; and
- Preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse and contamination of water.
What building work is controlled by the Regulations?
- the erection or extension of a building;
- the provision of a controlled service or fitting e.g. sanitary pipe work, drainage; heat producing appliances;
- the material alteration of a building, or a controlled service or fitting;
- work required to be undertaken as a result of a material change of use. (see below)
- the insertion of insulation material into the cavity wall of a building; and
- work involving the underpinning of a building.
What is a material change of use?
This is where there is a change in the purpose or circumstances for which a building is used, so that after the change the building or part of the building-
- is used as a dwelling, where previously it was not;
- contains a flat, where previously it did not;
- is used as a hotel or boarding house, where previously it was not;
- is used as an institution, where previously it was not;
- is used as a public building where previously it was not;
- is used as a an industrial premises, where previously it was not;
- is used as an office premises, where previously it was not;
- is used as a shop or commercial premises, where previously it was not;
- is not a building described in classes 1 to 5 in Schedule 2, where previously it was; and
- is not an
exempt buildingwhere previously it was.
When a material change of use takes place, the building, or affected part, needs to be upgraded to satisfy certain important parts of the Regulations. Fire safety, ventilation provision and energy conservation applies to all the cases above. Structure, weather resistance, fire spread and sound insulation apply in specific cases.
What are the links with other Government Departments?
The Building Control Officers work closely with other Department services, including Planning, Environmental Health, and other government Departments such as Highways and Drainage. On means of escape, the Section has in house expertise and liaises with the Fire Service. If you need help with any of these services when co-ordinating your development, please call us.
Telephone: 01624 685902, Fax: 01624 – 685875, or E-mail: Siamack.Rowaichi@gov.im.