Rooflights and planning permission - What you need to know

Rooflights and planning permission – What you need to know

Rooflights add a lot to a home, including style, light and value down the line. But one of the most commonly asked questions is whether installing a rooflight requires planning permission?

In this blog post, we’ll answer that question as well as delving into some other key considerations when it comes to installing a rooflight, such as exceptions to the usual planning stipulations, so read on.

Do Rooflights Need Planning Permission?

Generally speaking, having a rooflight installed does not require planning permission, provided it meets certain requirements, and instead falls under what are known as a building’s permitted developments. The criteria it must adhere to are as follows:

  • The rooflight cannot protrude above the highest part of the existing roof.
  • Any and all windows installed must be less than 150mm above the current roof plane.
  • Obscured glazing is to be used for side-facing windows (for privacy).
  • Unless the windows are higher than 1.7m above the floor, they shouldn’t be openable.

If these conditions aren’t met, then the chances are you’ll require additional planning permissions.

Can You Install a Rooflight in a Listed Property?

There are many more factors to consider when looking to install a rooflight in a listed property, barn conversion or a property situated in a designated Conservation Area. You’ll first have to check whether the property is subject to an Article 4 Direction.

These are issued by local planning authorities, and if your listed property is covered by one, you’ll need to confer with said planning authorities, and the chances are you’ll need to acquire additional planning permissions for even a chance of installing a rooflight.

You’ll Still Likely Require Building Regulations Approval

If the good news is that your rooflight probably won’t require planning permissions, the slightly less good news is that you’ll still likely require approval under the Building Regulations in order to install a rooflight. Why?

  • You’re probably going to have to alter the roof structure in some way (usually the rafters or joists) to install the rooflight (by creating an opening for it).
  • A proposed rooflight will have to showcase its energy efficiency, so that it doesn’t lead to excess heat loss.
  • It needs to be shown that the roof can support the weight of the proposed new rooflight; if not, then structural changes will need to be made so that it can.

The decision pending your application for a conservation rooflight will very much depend on your local Conservation Officer. They will take into consideration factors such as the original characteristics of your property, and those of any surrounding properties, as well as the character of the local area.

It is likely that your conservation roof window will need to be made of a traditional metal (rather than a plastic modern alternative) and will require a glazing bar. Importantly, it will probably need to sit flush within the roof line in order to minimise any visual impact from ground level.

Rooflights and planning permission - What you need to know

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, provided that your rooflight meets the criteria outlined above, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble specifying and installing a rooflight without any additional planning permissions.

If you’ve been thinking of having a rooflight installed, but aren’t sure about what your options are, then check out our website for some more inspiration.

Alternatively, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process and discuss our bespoke options. We are always on hand to discuss your individual project and offer expert advice on what we think might be most appropriate for your property.

Tel: 01794 745 445