Building Control

There are 3 building control authorities on the Isle of Man.

Whilst the Building Control (BC) Directorate of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture regulates the legislation governing the BC service for the entire Island and under which all applications are assessed, the administration is also covered with EXCEPTION to those in the Parishes of Douglas and Onchan where the local auhtorities have their own Officers and administration.

See related links for the contact details for Douglas and Onchan.

The Building Control function regulates the construction processes involved in the erection of a building, highlighting the elements of how a building is put together and in particular ensuring that the building has a safe structure.

Standards must be met in the construction of all types of buildings, addressing matters including the foundations, damp proofing, fire protection etc. ultimately seeking to protect the health and safety of people who use the end product. Building regulations also consider matters such as disabled access into and about the building.

The BC process involves plans for a development being checked for appropriateness and to make sure they meet the regulations.

Once plans have been passed, any works will be inspected during the build at key construction stages.

If the at the end of the project the structure meets the regulation requirements, a completion certificate will be issued. This certificate is important proof that all regulations have been adhered to and must be kept with any title deeds (your solicitor may need it if you decide to sell the building).

It is important to note that a building regulations approval is entirely separate from planning permission. Receipt of confirmation that plans have been passed under Building Regulations does not automatically ensure you will receive planning permission for the same development.

Purpose of the Building 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.
  • Encourage the erection of energy efficient structures and climate aware building practices within the industry

Building work that is controlled by the regulations

  • the erection or extension of a building
  • the provision of a controlled service or fitting, for example, 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 
  • the insertion of insulation material into the cavity wall of a building, and
  • work involving the underpinning of a building.

Legislation that covers building control

The central legislation supporting the building control service throughout the Isle of Man is the Building Control Act 1991, along with its secondary instruments, currently the Building Regulations 2014 and subordinate amendments.

Please be aware that the Regulations and subsequent amendments MUST be read in conjunction.

To view the Act, Regulations and all amendments, please refer to our library page.

Link with planning permission

There are some instances where a building regulations application would be required and a planning application would not, and vice versa.

The need for either can only be measured by seeking advice from planning or the relevant building control authority.