When making the decision to fit a new kitchen there are many legal regulations that you should be aware of. Before buying ‘off the shelf’ units or bespoke kitchens, make sure that you have considered these. Some kitchen fitting companies will take care of everything for you – so discuss this with them
Always contact your local council about planning if you believe your new kitchen requires it. They will be able to advise if planning permission is required.
You will usually need planning permission for structural work which affects the outside appearance of your home. So if your new kitchen extends out into your garden.
A small extension may come under “permitted development rights” and may not require planning permission, but all councils adopt different requirements in regards to this – so it is important to check the requirements for your area. Generally planning is required where there is a more than 10-15% increase in house volume or where the extension in close top boundaries.
Your neighbours will be informed of any planning permission being sought and they will have the right to object.
If your new kitchen involves any sort of structural alteration you will need building regulation approval. This is designed to ensure that minimum standards of design and stability are met. This is a separate consideration from planning and may be needed in addition to planning permission.
Building Regulations work in line with the Building Act 1984. Amendments to this act are made regularly so it is important to check your structural changes against the latest amendments.
The Council will appoint a building control officer (BCO) who will inspect the work at regular intervals to ensure it meets the correct standards.
Contact your Building Control office at your local council for advice on how to proceed.
Part P Regulations
New regulations now require that all electrical work carried out in a kitchen must be completed by a qualified person who will supply you with a certificate showing the work has been tested. A kitchen is regarded as a “special” area due to the proximity of water to the electrical sockets.
This will apply to the addition of new sockets, lighting fixtures, extractor fans, cookers and any other electrical item you may choose to install.
Ensure you have an electrician lined up well in advance to complete these parts of your project.
All gas appliances must be installed by a Gas Safe registered plumber, who will then check the system and issue a certificate. Your insurance and appliance guarantees will be invalidated if you choose to install gas appliances yourself.
As at 1 April 2009, all gas installers must be registered with the Gas Safe Register and will carry a card showing the membership. This replaces the Corgi Membership and is now the only valid and accepted form of registration.
It is your responsibility to ensure your plumber has this card.