Do I Need Planning Permission to Have a Rooflight?

There’s no better way to boost the aesthetic appeal of your home than putting in an attractive rooflight. While it might be the perfect way to finish off an extension or add some much-needed light to a specific room in the home, most people worry whether they need planning permission in order to have a structure like this installed.

Skylights Do I Need Planning Permission to Have a Rooflight Blog Image

While there are a few rules you need to follow, in England and Wales you don’t generally need planning permission at all, the conditions include:

  • The rooflight can stick out no more than 15cm from the plane of the roof.
  • If the window is side-facing, then it needs to be glazed.
  • If the window opens, then it must be over 1.7m off the ground.
  • The window can’t project above the highest part of the roof.

The one big factor that can affect whether you are able to have a skylight installed is whether you live in a listed building. You’ll probably know this already, but any work is covered by something called the Article 4 Direction which prohibits building such structures on historically significant properties. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to check with your local council.

While these are all the conditions you need for planning permission in England and Wales, there are slightly different rules for both Northern Ireland and Scotland.

What About Building Regulations?

Once you’ve decided to have a rooflight installed in your property, one thing you will have to be aware of are the building regulations. Any company that does this for you should understand what these are but it’s worth making sure that they do before you engage them.

Installations like double glazing and windows have certain rules which you have to adhere to before installing including choosing ones that have the right thermal insulation and energy efficiency. Beyond this, there may be a few times when you will need to get what is called building regulations approval.

These include:

  • If your roof needs altering to install the window (which is generally the case unless you have an extension or new build being put up).
  • If you’re putting in a new skylight then you need to be sure that the roof can take the weight of the structure.
  • The rooflight must have sufficient insulation once installed to protect the integrity of the building underneath.
  • Fire performance needs to be considered if you are next to a boundary like another house or property where flames might reach.

Skylights will generally have a heat-efficiency value (U-value) that ensures they are suitable for use as double glazing. Flatglass rooflights from Roofglaze have market-leading U-values, thanks to our fully thermally-broken frame design and bespoke glazing options.

In most cases, the regulations are easy to follow when it comes to installing a new rooflight and your installation company should be able to ensure that you stay on the right side of any rules. The vast majority of rooflights don’t need any planning permission and, as long as you follow the current building regulations for these kinds of structure, you shouldn’t have any problem at all.

If you have any questions about your project, please feel free to give us a call on 01480 474 797 or email with your enquiry.