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Understanding Safety Considerations and Building Control When Removing Internal Walls

When it comes to knocking down internal walls in your home, the need for planning permission is not typically a requirement. However, it's essential to be aware of certain exceptions and considerations to ensure the safety of your property. This article delves into the safety issue associated with removing internal walls and how building control measures can help mitigate potential risks.

Additionally, we'll explore the importance of obtaining a completion certificate to avoid future complications.

Building work process carried out in existing higher-risk buildings (refurbishments)
Building work process

Safety Concerns and Building Control:

In most cases, removing internal walls triggers the need for Building Regulations consent. While there are instances where it may not be necessary, such as for non-load bearing walls, chimneys, fireplaces, or walls around staircases, it's crucial to consider the safety implications. Building Regulations generally apply if the walls being removed provide any form of protection in the event of a fire.

For example, in a loft conversion, the walls around the staircase serve as an escape route, and tampering with them would require Building Regulations consent, irrespective of their load-bearing status.

The Role of Building Control:

Building control plays a pivotal role in ensuring that construction projects meet safety standards. When undertaking a project involving the removal of internal walls, it's recommended to make a Building Regulations application. This step will prompt a visit from building control officials, who will inspect the work and issue a certificate if all requirements are met. By involving building control, you gain peace of mind knowing that the structural integrity of your home is being safeguarded.

Building Control is primarily about ensuring building work complies with minimum standards for Health and Safety of persons in and around buildings, conservation of fuel and power, and accessibility.

Limiting Safety Risks:

Building control helps limit safety risks associated with internal wall removal by ensuring compliance with established regulations. These regulations cover various aspects, such as fire safety, load-bearing capacity, and structural stability. Compliance with these standards guarantees that your home remains secure and protects its occupants.

Importance of a Completion Certificate:

Securing a completion certificate after removing internal walls is crucial. Even if the work complies with Building Regulations, the absence of Building Control approval can lead to complications when selling your property in the future. It is advisable to contact Building Control and schedule an inspection promptly. Failing to obtain the necessary approvals may result in a request for a Regularisation Certificate, which essentially means making a retrospective Building Regulations application.

This process often requires physically opening up the work to ensure structural soundness and compliance. Any costs associated with rectifying issues discovered during this inspection will be your responsibility.


When considering knocking down internal walls, it's important to be aware of potential safety issues and the role of building control in mitigating these risks. While planning permission is typically not required, building control measures must be followed to ensure compliance with Building Regulations. Obtaining a completion certificate is equally essential to avoid complications when selling your property. By prioritizing safety and getting builders who adher to building control guidelines, you can confidently proceed with internal wall removal, knowing that your home remains secure and up to code.


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