Do You Need Planning Permission for Rooflights?

September 14, 2022

Are you looking at TuffX’s range of rooflights wondering, ‘will I need planning permission to install them?’ When making big decisions about your home, we at TuffX want you to be as informed as possible.

Below, we’ll be breaking down what government guidelines say about rooflight installation permissions, permitted development rights, building regulations and more. 

If you’ve been in the market for a rooflight, consider working with us at TuffX. Our energy-efficient glass and aluminium framed windows will keep your home safe from the cold, full of natural light and brimming with style. 

What are rooflights? 

Rooflights are distinct from skylights and roof windows, in that the term is more generic. A rooflight describes any glazed unit of glass that can be installed on a roof or pitched roof. 

As pitched roofs slope downwards, rooflights are installed using an upstand installation system. In simpler terms, this means that your rooflight will sit on a frame to add height and depth while ensuring rainwater can run off of it. 

Is there one room in your house that hardly sees the light of day? Rooflights are an excellent way to drench shady and sheltered areas in natural daylight. They also don’t require any structural changes to your home or building. 

At TuffX, our customers can order fixed rooflights that come in a range of contemporary styles and border designs. Manufactured with your choice of double-glazed glass or triple-glazed toughened safety glass, TuffX’s rooflights are of the highest possible quality. 

But what do government guidelines say about rooflight installation? Most importantly, do you need planning permission?

What do government guidelines say?

Luckily in England and Wales, you do not need planning permission for the installation of rooflights. This is provided you meet specific requirements set out in the Government Planning Portal

This is where you can find a wealth of information on planning permissions and regulations and will be an important resource to revisit in your installation journey. If you want to get started planning your rooflight installation with TuffX, the following standards must be met:

  • All windows installed must not protrude more than 150mm above the existing roof plane
  • All windows must not be higher than the highest area of your roof or roof ridge
  • All side-facing windows must be installed with obscure-glazed glass for privacy purposes and must not be openable if installed 1.7 metres above floor level

Before inquiring with TuffX about our fixed rooflight installation, make sure to check these requirements will be fulfilled. 

By now, you might be asking, why don’t I need government permission? Well, that’s more to do with your permitted development rights. 

Are rooflights part of permitted development rights? 

Permitted development rights (also known as PDRs) involve your right as a homeowner to make certain alterations without needing government approval. Your PDRs are the result of planning permissions granted by the government, not your local authority, 

However, there are still restrictions on PDRs when it comes to rooflight installation. It’s important to know what these are before you start your project. Development rights are significantly more restricted for properties in the following areas:

  • Conservation Areas
  • National Parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • World Heritage Sites
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

There are also development restrictions that are concerned with your current house. You will not be able to make alterations if: 

  • You live in a building that contains one or more flats or has a flat contained within the building
  • You live in a building that has not been changed under PDRs to be used as a house and is still not for residential use
  • You live in a house that was not built as a ‘New Dwelling House’ under PDRs

We’ve covered government guidelines, and permitted development rights, now it’s time to talk about building regulations. What do you need to know? 

What about building regulations?

Not having to seek planning permission is convenient and cuts a lot of waiting time from your project. However, effort must also be made to consult building regulations. If any planning risks may prevent your rooflight installation, it’s vital to get in touch with the relevant local authority and see if these issues can be addressed before installation gets underway. 

Approval from building regulations will be required to install any TuffX rooflights for the following reasons: 

  • Installing a rooflight requires making alterations to the roof itself to create an opening
  • Installing a rooflight requires testing the strength of the roof to ensure it can withstand the weight. If this is not possible, the roof will require strengthening. 
  • All rooflights installations must be able to provide sufficient insulation against cold weather and heat loss
  • If the rooflight is close to a boundary, the rooflight’s fire performance must be tested.

If you need a Rooflight, go with TuffX

We hope our breakdown of rooflight guidelines, PDRs and building regulations have been comprehensive and informative. 

If you’ve completed all the steps in this process and are ready to get started, get in touch with TuffX and we’ll help you to create the perfect home environment.