Windows and Planning Permission

If you own a property, it’s highly likely that you’re going to want to make home improvements at some point.

Windows are a common thing for homeowners to alter, whether it’s to repair, replace or relocate them.

But before you make any changes to your windows, you need to make sure that the work you’re going to do will comply with any relevant regulations. One set of these is planning regulations.

Read on to find out more about planning permission and whether you might need it for your window work.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is something you might need to obtain before you do specific types of construction work. To get planning permission you need to apply to your local planning authority.

When your local planning authority receives your application, their first move will be to check whether the work you want to do actually needs planning permission. If it doesn’t then they’ll let you know and you can get on with the work. If you do need planning permission, your local authority will have to decide on whether to give it to you. They’ll use local and national planning documents to help them make this decision.

Whether you get planning permission or not will usually relate to the size and look of whatever you’re planning to build or alter. Your local planning authority will also consider its access, use and if it will affect neighbouring residents.

Do I need planning permission for window work?

You don’t normally need to apply for planning permission for window work if you want to:

  • Repair or make minor improvements to existing windows
  • Install new windows that look similar to the property’s original windows

You also don’t usually need to apply for planning permission if you’re installing new roof lights or skylights as long as:

  • They aren’t higher than the highest part of the roof
  • They don’t protrude more than 15cm from the roof

You should make sure that upper-floor or roof windows on the side of your property are obscure-glazed, and either non-opening or no more than 1.7 metres from the floor level.

You may need to apply for planning permission if:

  • You want to fit a new bay window
  • Your property is listed
  • Your property is on designated land. This includes conservation areas, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites

How can I check if I need planning permission or apply for it?

If you want to check if you need planning permission, you can get advice from your local planning authority. Their contact details will be available on their website. If you’re not sure who your local planning authority is, you can use the Planning Portal’s handy tool to find out.

You can also make a planning permission application through the Planning Portal.

So now you should know more about planning permission and whether you need it for your window work. For more information on window regulations, take a look at our information on Building Regulations.

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