Do You Need Planning Permission for Roof Windows?

Adding roof windows to your home can be a fantastic way to add light and airiness to a room. However, for some home modifications, planning permission is essential. Without this, you could be forced to remove any additions to your home. That being said, you don’t need planning permission for all changes to your home.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the facts surrounding planning permission for roof windows.

A roof window viewed from inside a home. Below the roof window, there is a shelf and a pot plant.

What Is Planning Permission?

Before we look at how it can affect roof windows, specifically, you need to understand what planning permission is and why it exists. Planning permission is the permission that you need to seek from your local council or other authority. You need planning permission for a lot of different home improvements, such as some extensions and conservatories.

You may be wondering why planning permission is needed if you’re doing work on your own home. Essentially, it exists to deter developers from running rampant and building extensions that aren’t suitable for the area.

If planning permission is refused or if you don’t apply for it, you could be in serious trouble. In some circumstances, you can retroactively apply for permission. However, if this is refused, you can be forced to revert any work that has already been done. This means removing windows or knocking down extensions or conservatories.

Do You Need Planning Permission for Roof Windows?

So, do you need planning permission for roof windows? In most cases, the answer is, thankfully, no. Most roof windows and skylights won’t need planning permission, particularly if they are under a certain size.

If you are making very significant and visible changes to the exterior of your home, you may need planning permission. Similarly, you may also need to get planning permission if you are putting in the roof windows as part of a loft conversion, as you’ll likely need to change where your chimney and other pipes are located.

The key criteria under consideration, when it comes to planning permission, are the following:

  • Protrusion above the roof plane – if a roof window is going to protrude more than 150mm above the roof plane, planning permission will be required.
  • Height above the highest point of the roof plane: the window should not add any extra height to the roof plane, but this is unlikely with a roof window.
  • Orientation: a side-facing window will likely need frosted glass or other obscuring glazing.

How Do You Get Planning Permission?

If you do need planning permission, you will need to contact your local planning authority. This body has authority over urban planning in your area and will need to approve of your changes. You can find your local planning authority by contacting your local council.

Don’t expect the application process to be quick: they tend to take around eight weeks to process. In some cases, this can even increase to around 13 weeks. You will also need to pay a fee, which can vary depending on the type of application you are making.


You are unlikely to need planning permission for your roof window. While there are some circumstances where you will, most homeowners will not run into these issues. If you are interested in adding a roof window to your home without planning permission, we can help you figure out which roof windows are right for you and fall within legal guidelines.

For instance, if you would like to add a side-facing roof window, we can help you find the right model with the right kind of obscuring glass for your needs.



Roof Window Planning Permission FAQs

Can I Add a Roof Window to My Loft Without Planning Permission?

In most cases, you will be able to add a roof window to your loft without requiring planning permission. In fact, most loft conversions don’t require planning permission either, but they will if they’re going to affect the roofline.

Can You Install a Roof Window on a Flat Roof Without Planning Permission?

Usually, you won’t need planning permission to add a roof window to a flat roof. These are a very popular way to add light to rooms with flat roofs and will likely not cause any issues.

Related articles


Guide to Choosing to Self-Build Your Home

Houses are getting more expensive to buy, and even when you can afford one, you’re limited from a design st... read more


The Key Features of Passive House Design

With the ever-increasing energy tariff prices, keeping your home warm and comfortable can become very costl... read more


Tips on Roof Window and Skylight Positioning

Skylights and roof windows can be a great way to introduce light around your home, but the placement and po... read more

Join our newsletter!

Are you a professional installer, contractor, or housebuilder? Sign up for our newsletter today to be the first to hear about new products, promotions and exclusive offers.

For all other enquiries please complete our contact form on our website.