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|The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
A construction permit or building permit is a permit required in most jurisdictions for new construction, or adding onto pre-existing structures, and in some cases for major renovations. Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes. Failure to obtain a permit can result in significant fines and penalties, and even demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet code.
Since building permits usually precede outlays for construction, employment, financing and even furnishings, they are often a leading indicator for developments in the rest of the economy.
As part of broadcast law, the term is also used in broadcasting, where individual radio and television stations typically must apply for and receive permission to construct radio towers and radio antennas. This type of construction permit is issued by a national broadcasting authority, but does not imply zoning any other permission that must be given by local government. The permit itself also does not necessarily imply permission to actually operate the station once constructed. This is provided by a separate broadcasting licence, also called a "license to cover" by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. Further permission or registration for towers may be needed from aviation authorities.
In the U.S., construction permits for commercial stations are now assigned by auction, rather than the former process of determining who would actually serve the community of license best. If the given frequency allocation is sought by at least one non-commercial educational (NCE) applicant, or is on an NCE-reserved TV channel or in the FM reserved band, the comparative process still takes place, though the FCC refuses to consider which radio format the applicants propose.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission maintains a comparative process in issuing permits, ensuring that a variety of programming is available in each area, and that as many groups as possible have access to free speech over radio waves.
In the England and Wales, erecting a radio transmitter would be subject to local council planning permission.