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Planning Permission for Rooflights: Is It Needed?

Over our years of trade, we have often been asked whether planning permission for rooflights is necessary. We understand this position, as making alterations to your property and not being compliant with regulations can be a headache. 

The truth is, the answer largely depends on your specific circumstances. Installing a rooflight, however, is not as complicated as many think. 

In the following article, we at Lonsdale Metal want to delve into the topic of planning permission. We are going to outline what it is, why it is necessary and, moreover, whether it is required for a rooflight installation. 

We hope by offering this definitive guide, homeowners will have greater confidence in making renovations whilst staying compliant with regulatory requirements.

Planning Permission: An Overview

If you have limited experience in property development, this may be an overwhelming and confusing topic. The answer to whether rooflights are permitted development may be unclear. Thankfully, we have a wealth of experience in this area. 

Firstly, we want to outline what, exactly, planning permission is. Simply put, planning permission refers to the authorisation given by local authorities to homeowners when they wish to make certain types of renovations. 

The purpose of planning permission is to create guidelines for homeowners to follow and adhere to. Ultimately, local authorities enforce these rules to protect the environment, neighbouring homes and to preserve the look of an area. 

Major alterations to a property will, typically, require planning permission by the local awarding authority. Property owners are however awarded certain permitted development rights, which allows them to undertake smaller projects without permission. 

Most people therefore wonder whether rooflights are permitted development, or do they require authorisation from the local authority. We explore this below.

Is Planning Permission for Rooflights Necessary?

So, is planning permission for rooflights a legal requirement? Well, the answer is not straightforward. The good news is that in the majority of cases, a rooflight installation will fall under permitted development.

This often surprises and relieves property owners, as it is one less obstacle in the way of the project’s completion. 

However, there are few distinct factors to consider. The below will need to be considered carefully, as if it describes your circumstances then you may need planning permission. 

  • Owning a Listed Building

Elsewhere on our site, we have a wealth of information and resources on all areas of the rooflight installation process. This includes a complete overview of installing a rooflight if you own a listed property

To summarise, if you own a listed property or live in a conservation area then additional requirements may apply. In this case, it is always best to seek advice from local planning authorities.

These types of properties are protected because of their architectural/ historical significance, meaning that certain alterations may not be possible. However, this is not always the case. As such, it is best to speak to an expert. 

  • Compliance With Building Regulations

Although you may not need planning permission, it is important that you comply with building regulations. If you are enlisting the support of an experienced installation team, this goes without saying. 

However, it is still important to be mindful of factors such as fire and other safety measures. 


  • Location and Size


This is an important factor to consider, as it will determine whether permission is required. In general, the installation should not protrude more than 150mm above the existing roof plane. If your installation complies with this, and is not in a conservation area, then it is unlikely you will need planning permission.


  • Roof Alterations


Another thing to consider is whether the installation will require you to alter the roof in any way, such as raising it. If this is the case, it will likely not fall under permitted development. 

Thus, you will require authorisation from the local authority. If the roof will not require any alterations and your installation complies with the above, you should be fine.

Support at Lonsdale Metal

We understand that even with the aforementioned information, and with all the resources online, there may still be some certainty around a rooflight installation. Only with experience can you gain confidence in regulatory requirements. 

In our experience, if you are unsure, it is better to contact the local authority responsible for awarding planning permission. They should be able to help you, and it is better to do that than to compromise the project altogether. 

However, an experienced provider and installer, such as ourselves, will be able to help you with the following. We have a wealth of experience, spread across a variety of commercial and residential projects. 

Thus, our team can assist you with all areas of a rooflight installation: from preliminary design and regulation compliance through to installation. Contact us today.