If you believe that a particular requirement of the Building Regulations is too onerous, or inappropriate, in the particular circumstances of your plans or building work, you have a right under sections 8 and 9 of the 1984 Act to apply to the local authority asking them to either relax or dispense with the requirement. If the local authority refuses your application you have a right of appeal under section 39 of the 1984 Act to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government or the Welsh Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government (as appropriate) against that decision, provided you do so within one month of the date of being notified.
Applications for relaxation or dispensation of a requirement
Your application to the local authority should clearly state whether you are seeking either a relaxation or a dispensation, and specify in respect of which requirement in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations. Simply referring to one of the parts in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations (e.g. Part B or Part K) will not identify the actual requirement.
Seeking a relaxation
Your application must also clearly set out your case. If you are seeking a relaxation you should state the reasons why you believe a requirement is too onerous and indicate why you should not comply with a particular aspect of it. This will enable the local authority to consider the relaxation request in the confidence that there is a sound rationale for approving it and that the extent of your obligation to comply will be clear.
Seeking a dispensation
If you are seeking a dispensation your application will need to justify clearly why you believe that the whole of a requirement is inappropriate, or unreasonable, in the particular circumstances of your plans or building work. The effect of a dispensation will be to absolve you totally from complying with the requirement. You may find that the case for justifying a dispensation will be easier to define than for a relaxation. However, the onus will still be upon you to give a clear justification for seeking the dispensation.
The local authority can provide further details of how to proceed and what to include in a relaxation or dispensation application.
Appeals against the local authority's refusal to relax or dispense
If the local authority refuses your application for a relaxation or dispensation of a particular requirement they should give an explanation of their reasoning. The local authority must also notify you of your right to appeal to the Secretary of State/Welsh Ministers against their decision within one month of notification of that decision.
Where an approved inspector is providing the building control service and the local authority has not already done so, you should inform the inspector of the authority's decision and seek his advice before proceeding. If you decide to appeal to the Secretary of State/Welsh Ministers, your appeal should similarly set out your case giving full justification for relaxing or dispensing with the requirement, and also address the reasons which the local authority should have given for refusing your application.