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Do you need planning permission for a window?

Admin
2021-03-10

One of the best ways to increase warmth, kerb appeal and property value is to restore authentic timber window frames or replace single glazed windows with modern double glazed units. Typically, one of the first questions that crops up is whether planning permission is needed to replace, add, or move windows. If this is on your mind, by the end of this blog you’ll have a much clearer picture as to which window refurbishment projects require planning permission and those that don’t.

What are permitted development rights?

Certain types of domestic improvements don't need to apply for planning permission as they are covered by "permitted development rights". These tend to cover common projects for houses, with different rules for flats, maisonettes, and commercial properties.

Do you need planning permission to replace windows?

As long as new windows are of a similar appearance to those used in the original construction of the house, planning permission isn't usually needed for window repairs, maintenance, and minor improvements. That said, if any of the following points apply, planning permission may apply:

  • Properties covered by an Article 4 direction
  • Homes in conservation areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • National Parks, World Heritage Sites or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads
  • Listed buildings
  • New bay windows (these count as an extension)
  • Installing upper floor windows to the side of the property without level 4 or 5 obscured glass
  • Installing upper floor windows into an opening frame that's 1.7m above the floor
  • New windows in flats that differ in appearance or size to those being replaced, e.g. different glazing patterns

Do you need planning permission to make a window bigger?

Increasing natural light into a room is a great way to create the illusion of more space, whilst considerably boosting happiness and health levels too. As long as it's not a new bay window being added to the front of the property, or larger opening side windows that don't contain obscured glass (unless more than 1.7m above the floor), chances are planning permission will not be required. Of course, as with all window replacements, Building Regulations will need to be followed - covering essentials such as energy efficiency standards, ventilation, emergency exits, restricted openings and marine-based dwellings. FENSA approved window installers will be able to self-certify that the new windows comply with the latest Building Regulations, considerably speeding up the process.

Can I change a window to a door?

If the property is not being extended in any way, it's unlikely that planning permission will apply. Although, it's always worth checking your properties original planning permissions for any conditions, as well as contacting your local authority or a trusted double glazing installer just to be sure. Again, Building Regulations apply to all replacement glazing projects.

Do you need planning permission to put a window in your loft?

Roof windows and skylights tend to fall under permitted development rights, unless:

  • The property is covered by an Article 4 Direction or is in a designated area g. conservation area
  • It protrudes over 150 mm above the existing roof
  • It is higher than the highest part of the roof
  • Side roof windows without level 4 or 5 obscured glass
  • They open under 1.7m above the floor

How do I apply for planning permission?

Planning permission applications in England are submitted through the official online planning portal. As of July 2020, planning applications for homeowners cost £206 in England. Once you have submitted your online form, most planning applications are decided within 8 weeks or up to 13 weeks for unusually large or complex applications.

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