Do I need planning permission to put in a roof window?

velux-conservation-window

You don’t usually need planning permission to install a roof window or skylight into your home, and you definitely don’t to replace an existing window of the same dimensions. Typically planning permission is only required if you’re making very visible changes to your property or you need to change the position of chimneys, flues and pipes for example. However you should note that the right to undertake certain types of work are called ‘permitted development rights’ but the same rights that apply to houses may not necessarily apply to flats or commercial buildings. This article focuses on domestic residential properties.

When do I need planning permission to install a roof window?

You’ll need planning permission to install a roof window if:

  • You plan to install any windows more than 150mm above the existing roof plane
  • You plan to install a window that will protrude over the roof ridge or be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • You plan to install a side-facing window without obscure glazing
  • You plan to install a side-facing window under 1.7m above the floor than can be opened
  • You plan to make changes to the chimney, flue, soil or vent pipe as a result of installation

You’ll also need planning permission if you’re a leaseholder of if you live in a building where an Article 4 Direction has been made by your local authority, regardless of the above. An Article 4 Direction means the local authority has withdrawn your rights to make changes and develop your building, removing your ‘permitted development rights’. This is done usually in heritage, protected and conservation areas where the historic character, design importance or surrounding area could be negatively impacted. When the “character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened” then an Article 4 Direction is made.

You can find out more about permitted development rights and what it means to have them withdrawn on the Government’s Planning Portal.

What makes planning approval more likely for a roof window?

Due to these decisions made by your local authority, there are certain types of windows available that may be more likely to pass planning approval because of their minimal visual impact. For example VELUX conservation windows are designed to have a traditional look and are available to offer more subtle windows in both recessed slate and plain tiles. With these windows you get the same high quality, high performance VELUX window just with a less obtrusive external finish.

You can find out more about permitted development rights and what it means to have them withdrawn on the Government’s Planning Portal. We would always suggest that you seek the advice of your local authority before carrying out any building works. Information correct on date of publishing (June 2017).