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An expert guide to roof windows and planning permission

An expert guide to roof windows and planning permission

Roof windows are an excellent way of letting natural light into your home, transforming your rooms and making you feel happier, healthier and more energetic.

Once you’ve made the choice to have roof windows, we understand that you want nothing to get in the way and stop you from making changes.

When planning your perfect home, it can be difficult to understand what does and doesn’t need planning permission.

To make things clearer, we’ve put together this guide to planning permission for roof windows.



Do roof windows need planning permission?

Planning permission isn’t generally needed for most roof windows and skylights.

Unless you’re making very visible changes to your home or need to change the position of chimneys, flues and pipes, installing roof windows are covered under permitted development rights.

However, roof windows need planning permission if they:


  • Protrude more than 150 millimetres above the existing roof plane.
  • Are higher than the highest part of the roof, or stand out above the roof ridge.
  • Are installed on the side of your building without any obscure glazing to protect privacy.
  • Are openable under 1.7m metres above the floor.
  • Are in a building under Article 4 Direction.

Article 4 Direction is given to houses or listed buildings in heritage, protected and conversation places.

In these places, changes to the house could impact the building or surrounding area and will need planning permission.

Although most cases won’t need planning permission, it’s important that your roof windows are up to building regulations. When installing your roof window, you need to ensure that the altered roof is load bearing, the window is insulated and in some cases, may need to act as a fire escape.




Typically, you don’t need planning permission to add roof windows to your house provided they don’t meet any of the outlined requirements.

These requirements are based on houses, so flats, bungalows or other buildings will have different regulations when it comes to planning permission.

Similarly, any listed, heritage or conservation buildings will need planning permission before any changes are made to reduce impact to the building or surrounding area.

If you need more information about planning permission or if you’re just unsure, get in touch with our team today.

Written by: Joe

Published on: 13 November 2017

Categories: Advice