Rooflights and Planning Permission – What You Need to Know

Rooflights and Planning Permission – What You Need to Know

Generally speaking, having a rooflight installed does not require planning permission, provided it meets certain requirements. Instead this 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 conservation 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. A useful resource on this subject can be found on the Historic England website here:

An article 4 direction is made by the local planning authority. It restricts the scope of permitted development rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority’s area. Where an article 4 direction is in effect, a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been permitted development. Article 4 directions are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a conservation area.

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.

Rooflights and Planning Permission – What You Need to Know

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.

Further useful information on rooflights and Planning can be found on the Planning Portal website here:

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 of a traditional metal frame construction (rather than a plastic modern alternative) and may 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.

So, 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.

Rooflights and Planning Permission – What You Need to Know

About Stella Rooflight

From design and production through to customer service, Stella Rooflight has a single vision of doing things better than the industry standard, while providing the very best to its clients.

Stella manufacture exceptional conservation rooflights that combine a flush fitting profile while utilising the very best of materials. All rooflights are designed to perform and built to last with frames manufactured from Marine Grade 316 stainless steel to prevent issues with rusting.

Offering industry leading thermal performance and real wood interior linings, a Stella rooflight is the perfect choice for any project looking to achieve the finest quality finish.