Do You Need Planning Permission for a Partition Wall?

  • November 17, 2023
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When considering home renovations or office refurbishments in the UK, understanding the intricacies of planning permission and building regulations is essential. Among the common changes made to a property is the installation of a partition wall. But do these structures require planning permission? In this blog we will explore the key aspects, including the purpose of partition walls, building regulations approval, UK specific regulations on thickness and spacing, and fire safety requirements.


What is a Partition Wall?

A partition wall, a type of internal wall that does not bear any load, is primarily used to divide an existing space for privacy, versatility, and convenience. As partition walls are non-load bearing, the walls are thinner than that of load bearing walls, as such they’re an ideal solution for both reresidential and commercial building layouts, including:


  • Residential spaces like purpose-built flats and high-rise buildings, as well as converted flats.
  • Large commercial structures, including office buildings.
  • Hospitality environments, encompassing hotels and other lodging facilities.
  • The healthcare industry, particularly in surgeries, hospitals, care homes, and hospices.
  • Commercial areas focused on retail, food service, and operational logistics.


Do Partition Walls Need Building Regulations Approval?

In short, no, but there are some instances where you may need to acquire planning permission. You will need to get planning permission if you are building a wall which will structurally support the building. You will also need planning permission if your property is listed, and if the purpose of the property is changing i.e. turning a home into a business. 

There are also other factors to consider. The stud partition wall building regulations ensure that any structural alteration maintains the safety and integrity of the building. It’s important to note that if the partition wall alters the building’s external appearance or affects shared walls with adjoining properties, then planning permission might be required.


UK Partition Wall Thickness Regulations

The stud wall regulations in the UK stipulate the minimum requirements for the thickness and spacing of partition walls. This is to ensure that the walls are structurally sound and fit for purpose. The typical timber stud wall thickness is around 75-100mm, and steel metal stud walls can be thinner still, but this can vary depending on the specific requirements of the building. 


UK Partition Wall Fire Regulations

Fire safety is a paramount concern in any building work. The stud wall fire regulations in the UK mandate that partition walls must be constructed with materials that provide a certain level of fire resistance. This is to prevent the rapid spread of fire and smoke, thereby protecting the building’s occupants. It’s also important to consider fire detection and fire escape routes when creating new rooms. The specific requirements can vary based on the building’s use and size, so it’s important to consult the latest regulations or a professional for guidance.


Contact CCL Interiors Today

To summarise, while you typically don’t need planning permission for installing a partition wall in the UK, it’s essential to comply with building regulations concerning stud wall thickness, and fire safety. Staying informed about these regulations ensures that your partition wall is not only legally compliant but also safe and functional. For accurate and current statistics on partition wall regulations in the UK, it’s advisable to visit the official UK Government Planning Portal or the Building Regulations section for the latest information and guidance.

If you’re still unsure, consult CCL Interiors. Based in Belfast, we have a proven track record with all types of wall partitions across various sectors, including commercial, residential, and hospitality.