Do I need planning permission to install a mezzanine floor?
Generally, no formal permission from a local authority is needed for the installation of mezzanine floors. However, there are some situations when planning permission or Building Regulation Approval is required.
Planning permission might be needed if:
- The mezzanine floor increases floor area of a site where permission to develop had been previously restricted
- The mezzanine is used for office space or work purposes
- External alterations are needed to accommodate the floor
- The mezzanine floor is for retail use of over 200m2
At Greenoaks we can help our clients to determine whether they require planning permission to install a mezzanine floor and can assist with securing the correct permission for the project they want.
What are the requirements for mezzanine building regulations?
Building regulations are in place to promote the health and safety of stakeholders in and around a building by providing requirements and standards for the building design and construction. In Building Regulations from 2010, mezzanine floors are specifically referred to as ‘raised storage areas’ that are possibly susceptible to Building Regulations Approval. So, it is important to work out at the start whether or not a mezzanine floor might need approval as part of the design process.
Do you need to apply for Building Regulation Approval for a mezzanine floor structure?
Yes, you can apply for Building Regulations Approval directly with your local council authority. Alternatively, you can contact an approved and independent inspector that can appraise and authorise the installation. For further information on contacting an approved inspector, you can look at the Construction Industry Council website. The inspector will advise on how building regulations apply to the project in order to provide a full understanding of what will be necessary to stay compliant.
Also, they will check through the design and plans of the building and inspect the work as required. When the mezzanine floor has been installed, the inspector will issue a certificate of compliance to the local authority to confirm completion of the work to the required standard.
What about fire safety with mezzanine floors?
Compliance with fire safety is summarised in section 7 of the Building Regulations. The need for fire protection can be established as follows:
7.7- raised free-standing floors are frequently erected in single storey industrial and storage buildings. Whether the structure is considered as a gallery or is of sufficient size that it is considered as a floor forming an additional storey, the normal provisions for fire resistance of elements of structure may be onerous if applied to the raised storage area.
7.8 – a structure which does not have the appropriate fire resistance is acceptable provided the following conditions are satisfied:
- the structure has only one tier and used for storage purposes only
- the number of persons likely to be on the floor at any one time is low and does not include members of the public
- the floor is not more than 10m in either width or length and does not exceed one half of the floor area of the space in which it is situated
- the floor is open above and below to the room or space which it is situated