Do I Need Planning Permission to Have Windows Installed in my Roof?

Posted by Skye Tunks on 24th September 2020

The simple answer, is that planning permission isn't generally required for most roof windows and skylights, however, there are some things you need to be aware of. Let's take a look... 

If you live in a beautifully traditional town or village, then you have more than likely purchased a stunning property within the area, as you fell in love with the local aesthetic. But, what keeps these properties so whimsical and inviting, is that there are conditions in place that ensure any new build, or changes to existing properties in the area, are keeping in touch with the traditional feel, that is so beloved by the people who live there.

But, this can lead to issues when you are wanting to make amendments to your own home...

If you have moved into your dream home (which may be older) then you may not be guaranteed the comforts of double glazing. And, because of this reason, you may want to consider swapping out your old windows for a new, better insulated option, whether it provides more energy efficiency or to complete your home aesthetics.

It is simply not the case that conservation areas will prevent you from adapting your home, so it is essential that you review the options.

Within Conservation Areas

If you live in a conservation area, then you will find you may be in more luck than you originally anticipated.

If you have a fantastic window supplier, then they will have the experience in dealing with this exact issue, or something very similar. With this common problem, a solution has been created for conservation areas, which is simply known as conservation windows.

When living in a conservation area, the main purpose of these strict rules and regulations, is to ensure the protection of how the building looks from the outside.

If one home is found to be out of touch with the rest, then it runs the risk of devaluating the surrounding properties, which is why the option of conservation windows has been created to specifically adapt and design to the area around you.

Typically, these windows often feature a black metal glazing bar across the window pane, as this helps to mimic the design of traditional, Victorian windows and helps them blend into the roof more seamlessly, compared to modern windows.

The next step with the installation process is to find out whether you will need planning permission from the local authorities in your area, to allow the work to begin.

Planning Permission Approval

Many smaller renovations to your home (including roof windows) do not require your local council for approval, so long as -

  • Any windows installed must protrude no more than 150 millimetres above the existing roof plane.

  • No alteration can be higher than the highest part of the roof or stand out above the roof ridge.

  • Side-facing windows are to consist of obscure glazing for privacy purposes and should not be openable unless 1.7m above the floor.

With some cases, properties can be subjected to what is known as an Article 4 direction, which means special restrictions may have to be put in place on the property that removes the usual permitted development rights, and if any work is done to a property that flouts this restriction, then the local authorities may have the ability to demand you to return the property to its original state, which will cost you additional time and money.

If you are looking to have windows added to an existing roof as a structural or thermal adjustment, this is considered as ‘material’ and is subject to building regulations. 

Have Them Professionally Installed

If you are looking to request permission from your local authority to have your new roof windows installed, then you should get in touch with a licensed professional.

While the local authorities have the final judgement on what work they can and cannot provide, a professional can help provide you with the best approach or solution, before you even request permission.

Roof window specialists will be able to tell you not only, what type of window will best suit your property, but also what will be within regulation, saving you time and energy with the process of adding windows to your roof. And, better still, once the work is complete, your registered installer will provide you with a certificate to confirm who did the work and to provide that it was all done within the regulations.

Conservation windows are fantastic, as they provide properly updated and insulated windows for your home, without devaluing the property and keeping in the traditional and conversation feel.

If you need further information, help or support with your roof window installation in a conservation area, then please feel free to get in touch with our specialist team today - 01786 357 252.