24 Oct

Does a roof lantern need planning permission?

A roof lantern can be a highly effective way of introducing light into your home, maximising on the amount of sunlight streaming in at any time of the day. However, do you need to have planning permission?

A roof lantern’s perfectly balanced design can completely alter the look and feel of your property, working wonders to bring natural light into your home and adding a sense of additional space to your interiors without too much upheaval. Elegant, timeless and ornate, they make an exceptional feature on a flat-roofed area, such as a single-storey extension for example. 

Just like any renovation project, it is always worth researching consents beforehand. Checking whether your proposed plans will require either Planning or Building Regulations consent is a key place to start, along with considering your budgets, finding a good FENSA certified manufacturer and drawing up a realistic project timeframe. 

Planning permission

No matter what you have planned, talk about your roof lantern ideas with a professional who can provide you with the right advice. However, you can consider some options if you want to transform your home without worrying about planning permission. 

The consents you will need are highly dependent on where your property is located, but in general, terms most homeowners can relax as permitted development rules will allow you to add a roof lantern to an existing flat roof without planning permission. 

A pitched roof lantern does not have direct planning criteria, unlike a skylight or Velux fixed in the face of a pitched roof. Which need to stay under 150mm in height from the roof. 

If you can proceed under permitted development rights, then the maximum height of a roof lantern should not be more than 4 metres from ground level, as this is the maximum permitted height for a pitched roof. So ultimately, you will not need full planning permission n to add a roof lantern to either a new or a pre-existing flat roof. 

It is worth bearing in mind that these concessions will only apply to houses, and not flats, maisonettes, converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use.  

If you live in a sensitive location such as a conservation area, green belt, World Heritage Site, national park, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will be facing stricter rules and regulations as to what you can build. Planning rules are always stricter in these kinds of areas, or for listed buildings, so it is always advisable to check first with the Conservation Officer at your local planning office, and further advice is available on the Planning Portal

There are also two other common situations where some types of Permitted Development rights might have been removed; if your area is subject to an Article 4 Direction, or if a condition has been attached to a planning permission for alterations that were previously carried out at the property.

Building Regulations

Energy efficiency is usually a big concern when it comes to these kinds of projects, and ‘Part L’ of the Building Regulations requires you to improve thermal performance as this is known to be a common issue with flat roofs. For more information about the heat loss performance of our doors, windows and roof lanterns, visit here. Ideally, you will want your roof lantern manufactured and fitted by a FENSA registered installer (Fenestration Self-Assessment) who can ‘self-certify’ the installation, so you can be rest assured your roof lantern will comply with Building Regulations. 

At Westbury Windows and Joinery, we can take the responsibility of putting any consent applications together and submitting it on your behalf, leaving you to relax and focus on less stressful elements of your project! We are able to create clear and accurate plans for your local authorities to view if required and keep you in the loop as your project progressed through the application stages. 

Our years of experience means that we can apply for planning permission on listed properties, and can work with an independent planning consultant if required. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your roof lantern project in more detail.