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Advice and Guidance notes

Advice Note on exemption from payment of Building Regulation charges works carried out to provide or improve facilities for disabled persons


There are times when a property needs to be adapted, enlarged or improved when a person unfortunately becomes disabled or their disability worsens. In certain cases, the charges usually applied for the Building Regulations function can be exempted. Generally, the works would be for the sole use of the disabled person, in accordance with Regulation 4 of The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010.

Types of work carried out to a property that can be exempt from charges would be the adaptation or extension of the existing accommodation as, in its current state, it cannot be used by the disabled person, or can only be used with assistance.

Examples of which would be:

  • Changing a ground floor room such as a dining room in to an accessible bathroom or bedroom.
  • Providing an additional bedroom for a carer when the disabled person requires 24hr care.
  • Installing a through floor lift for wheelchair access to a first floor.
  • Building an extension for an accessible bathroom, bedroom or another room as a replacement if that room has been converted for disabled access. For example, if a dining room, kitchen or lounge is converted to an accessible bedroom or bathroom, an extension to replace that room is exempt from fees. • Providing a new and permanent way of accessing a building such as a ramp and wider openings.
  • Provision of an additional room for the sole use of providing medical treatments where other rooms would be inappropriate.
  • Provision of an additional room for the storage of medical/ disabled equipment for the disabled person where it is not reasonably practicable to store it elsewhere.

Although there is no longer a register of disabled persons, the Council will still require proof that the person claiming exemption is disabled. This can be done in several ways such as:

  • If the claimant is receiving a Disabled Facilities Grant from the Council
  • A letter from the disabled persons Occupational Therapist detailing the required works to be carried out Disabled exemption from fees Updated June 2020
  • Proof of receipt of disabled benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance.

No other forms of proof will be accepted.

If multiple works are being carried out, then some portions of the work may be exempt, but others will not.

Works to a building visited by the public which is not a dwelling


Works that are carried out to a public building may also be exempt from charges. Examples of such works are as follows:

  • Providing means of access solely for disabled persons by way of entrance or exit to or from the building or any part of it (General entrances for all users not included even if disabled access provided)
  • The building work in question is solely for the provision of facilities designed to secure the greater health, safety, welfare or convenience of disabled persons. This could include an accessible WC

Frequently Asked Questions


I want to build a lounge extension, so my disabled mother has a better view of the garden are the charges exempt?

No, unfortunately this is not for the sole use of a disabled person and therefore not exempt.

I want to build an extension for a downstairs bedroom as my father can longer get upstairs and there is no room for a stairlift or through floor lift.

Yes, this would be exempt from charges.

I want to build an extension containing a downstairs accessible bathroom and a utility room. Is that free?

Not all. The bathroom part will be free from charges, but the utility extension portion of the work will require a fee at the standard rate.

I want to have a kitchen extension to make it more accessible for myself, I am completely immobile. 

Each individual case would be assessed by the head of Building Control. If a fully accessible kitchen already exists, then charges would not be waived. Again, portions of the build may be exempt, others may be chargeable.

I am building a house for my mum who is severely disabled.

All new dwellings are required to have some disabled facilities such as level access and ground floor accessible WC's for disabled persons visiting the property. This type of dwelling will not be Exempt from charges. However, if the property is designed and built to comply with Approved Document M1 categories 2 or 3 then the dwelling will be exempt from charges. The same rules will apply for that of an extension. If only a portion of the dwelling is for the disabled person then only that portion will be exempt.

Cases that do not fall into the above categories will be assessed by the head of Building Control.

New rules for septic tanks


South Ribble has many rural areas where properties may not be served by main sewers for their foul drainage. In such cases you would probably have a septic tank within your property or possibly on a neighbours land if the tank serves more than one property.

From January 2020, The Environment Agency introduced new laws that if you have a septic tank which ultimately discharges to a watercourse then you are no longer allowed to use this method of disposing of foul drainage.

You now have 3 options:

  1. Connect to a main sewer if available
  2. Remove the septic tank and install a packaged water treatment plant to BS EN 12566-3 and certified.
  3. The discharge to the watercourse stopped and diverted to a drainfield, designed and constructed to the current British Standard BS6297 200

The Building Act 1984 sets out that any work to underground drainage will require Building Regulations approval.

Failure to notify Building Control may result in enforcement or could harm the sale of your property in future.

Please call 01772 625400 if you have any queries. You should also check if you require planning permission.

For more information please see Government guidance

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