Adding a Velux window to your home can be a fantastic way to bring in natural light, enhance ventilation, and create a more spacious and inviting atmosphere. However, before embarking on any home improvement project, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements and regulations involved. One common question that arises is whether planning permission is necessary for installing a Velux window in the U.K. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the intricacies of planning permission for Velux windows.
Understanding Planning Permission
Planning permission is the legal consent granted by local planning authorities in the U.K. to carry out certain types of development or changes to a property. It ensures that any modifications are in line with local planning policies, taking into account factors such as environmental impact, visual aesthetics, and the impact on neighboring properties.
Permitted Development Rights
In some cases, homeowners can make alterations or additions to their properties without the need for planning permission. These are called "permitted development rights" and are granted by the government under specific conditions. Permitted development rights are subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and it's essential to understand whether your proposed Velux window installation falls within these guidelines.
Permitted Development Rights for Velux Windows
In general, installing a Velux window can often fall within the scope of permitted development rights, provided that specific criteria are met. However, it's important to note that permitted development rights may vary depending on the location, property type, and any existing planning restrictions in place.
The following conditions typically apply for Velux window installations to be considered as permitted development:
1. Roof Slope: The installation of a Velux window should be on a roof slope that faces away from the highway. If your property is located in a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty, a national park, or other designated areas, additional restrictions may apply.
2. Size and Protrusion: The window should not project more than 150 millimeters (or 10% of the roof's slope if it's less) from the existing roof plane. The window's highest point should also be lower than the highest part of the roof.
3. Material and Design: The window should be made of similar materials as the existing roof, such as tiles or slates, to maintain the overall appearance of the property.
4. Side-Facing Windows: Side-facing windows should be obscure-glazed and non-opening if they are less than 1.7 meters above the floor level.
5. No Balconies or Verandas: The installation of a Velux window should not create a balcony, veranda, raised platform, or any other type of elevated outdoor space.
Exemptions and Additional Considerations
While permitted development rights generally cover many Velux window installations, certain circumstances may require seeking planning permission, even if your project fulfills the conditions mentioned above. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
1. Listed Buildings: If your property is listed or located within a listed building's curtilage, you will likely need planning permission regardless of the window's size or location.
2. Article 4 Directions: Some local authorities may enforce Article 4 Directions, which withdraw permitted development rights for specific areas. These directions can restrict or remove the ability to install Velux windows without planning permission.
3. Flats, Maisonettes, and Converted