We have placed here a collection of links that may well provide further information in respect of your endeavours, and the best way to go about them.
From the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister who looks after these things. Building Regulations pertain to England and Wales; see below for Scotland.
The Scottish equivalents of the above.
A useful site that tells you many of the social issues pertaining to an area you may be considering.
These sites, for a small fee, will show you who paid what for almost any house. Verifies the neighbours claims!