Do I Need Planning Permission for a Roof Light?

5/31/20242 min read

white fluorescent light turned on in room
white fluorescent light turned on in room

Understanding Roof Lights and Planning Permission

Adding roof lights to your property can be a brilliant way to introduce natural light into your home. However, a common question that arises is, 'Do I need planning permission for a roof light?' In this blog post, we will guide you through the key considerations to help you determine whether planning permission is required. In most cases, you don't need planning permission for roof lights as they can be installed under permitted development rights, but this isn't always the case. If in doubt, please seek professional advice from planning consultants such as Cedar Planning.

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to make certain changes to their property without needing to apply for planning permission. Roof lights typically fall under these rights, meaning you can usually install them without going through the planning process. However, there are specific conditions and limitations that must be met to ensure compliance.

Conditions and Limitations

For roof lights to qualify under permitted development rights, they must adhere to certain conditions:

  • They should not protrude more than 150mm above the plane of the roof slope. This means that many Velux style windows are acceptable, but other roof lantern style windows are unlikely to comply with the requirement.

  • They must not be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.

  • If your property is in a designated area (such as a conservation area), additional restrictions may apply.

Meeting these conditions generally means you won't need to apply for planning permission. However, it's always wise to double-check. For example, some properties will have had Permitted Development Rights removed, either through Article 4 directions or when planning permission was granted. Similarly, if your home was converted using a change of use Permitted Development Right (such as Class Q barn conversions) then householder Permitted Development Rights do not apply to your home. The same also applies to flats.

When Planning Permission Is Required

There are circumstances where planning permission may be required for roof lights. For instance, if your property is listed or located in a conservation area, the permitted development rights may be more restrictive. Additionally, if the roof light installation does not meet the conditions outlined under permitted development, you will need to apply for planning permission. Consulting with a planning consultant can help clarify these requirements and ensure you stay within legal boundaries.

If planning permission is required this does not automatically mean that planning permission would be refused. It just means that you will need to submit a planning application which will be assessed against the relevant planning policies for the area.

Seeking Professional Advice

It's always a good idea to consult with planning experts to navigate the regulations effectively. Professional planning consultants, like ourselves, can provide tailored advice and assist with any necessary applications, ensuring your project proceeds smoothly.

In conclusion, while you generally do not need planning permission for roof lights due to permitted development rights, it's crucial to be aware of the conditions and limitations. When in doubt, always seek professional advice to avoid any potential issues.