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Installing roof windows can transform your home’s darker spaces into vibrant, light-filled areas. However, before going ahead with this home improvement, it’s important to understand the legalities involved, specifically whether you need planning permission.

Get it right and you have a beautiful new light-filled room on your hands. Get it wrong and you could commit a planning breach.

This guide demystifies the planning permission process for roof windows, helping you understand when and why approval might be necessary.

Understanding planning permission

Planning permission is a legal process in the UK, necessary for certain types of building works. It’s needed to ensure building projects follow local planning policies and building regulations.

Granted by local planning authorities, it’s essential for significant additions and changes to buildings. Especially if the change is likely to affect the external appearance or structural integrity.

When is planning permission required for roof windows?

Knowing when you need new window planning permission for roof windows is essential before starting your home improvement project. This ensures your work is legal and respects local building rules.

So how do you know if you need planning permission?

Conservation areas and listed buildings

If your property is in a designated conservation area or is a listed building, you will likely need planning permission for any external alterations, including roof windows. This makes sure the historical and architectural character of the building or area is preserved.

Height and placement restrictions

If your roof window sticks out above the roof’s highest point or faces a road, you’ll likely need planning permission. This rule helps keep the neighbourhood looking nice and reduces the effect on the view.

Structural changes

Planning permission may be necessary for flat roofs, as skylights or roof windows can significantly change the look of a building. The same applies if the installation involves structural changes to the roof, such as a raised skylight on a bungalow.

Overlooking neighbours

Roof windows that are higher than the roof or face a street, usually need official approval. This is to keep the area looking good and not change the view too much.

If your window can be seen from the road or is very tall, check with local authorities. It’s important to follow these rules to avoid any privacy issues arising with your neighbours.

Types of roof windows and planning permission

Different types of roof windows, like skylights or dormer windows, have varying planning permission requirements based on their size and placement.

Let’s have a look at them in more detail.

Velux or skylight windows

Typically, standard Velux or skylight windows that fit within the current slope of the roof do not need planning permission. Especially if they do not extend more than 150mm from the roof’s surface and are not taller than the highest point of the roof.

Dormer windows

Dormer windows, which stick out from the roof, usually need planning permission. This is especially true if they look out onto a road or are in a protected area, as they change the look of the roof and the building.

Balcony and terrace windows

Windows that turn into balconies or include terraces often require planning permission. This is because they greatly change the building’s outside and could affect neighbours’ privacy.

Exemptions and permitted development

Not all roof windows need planning permission as some fall under Permitted Development Rights. This allows homeowners to undertake certain types of work without needing planning permission. These rights depend on various factors, including the property type, location and the extent of previous alterations.

Checking your status

So, if you’re wondering ‘do I need planning permission for a roof window?’ check your specific situation. You can do this by:

Consulting with local authorities

Contact your local planning department to understand the specific requirements and restrictions in your area.

Hiring a professional

Architects or planning consultants can provide expert advice on whether your proposed installation needs planning permission.

Reviewing permitted development rights

Get to know the development rights for your property, which you can find on local government websites or planning portals.

Find the perfect quality roof window for you!

When searching for the ideal roof window, considering planning permission requirements is crucial. This step ensures that your choice not only enhances your space with natural light but also complies with local regulations.

At Roof Window Outlet, we understand the importance of this balance. Our team is equipped to guide you through selecting a roof window that not only fits your aesthetic and functional needs but also aligns with any planning permission constraints. By considering these factors together, we help ensure a smooth, compliant installation process, making your home improvement project hassle-free and legally sound.

Our professional team is on hand to help you choose from a wide selection of Keylite, Velux and FAKRO roof windows, all with unique characteristics and a dependable 10-year guarantee. For more information, call us at 0207-550-6595 or email and find your perfect windows today.

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