Do you need planning permission for windows?

planning permission for windows

So you want to put in some new windows, but don’t know if you will need planning permission. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to planning home renovations and you don’t want to get caught out with the legal requirements. We will help you answer the question, do you need planning permission for windows?

Householder Permitted Development Rights

There are many things that you can do within or to your own home without requiring formal planning permission. This can include internal decorations, some changes to windows and doors as well as some extensions.

If the house is located near a highway, then it faces more restrictions on height and extension of any additions to the building, as well as the style of windows. 

For more in depth information, check out the Technical Guidance for Permitted Development Rights for Householders from Gov UK. 


Skylights are great for adding a bit more natural light to attics or top floor bedrooms, where otherwise this might be an issue. However, there are certain requirements for skylights that you must meet in order to avoid needing planning permission. This includes:

  • The skylight must not sit higher than highest part of the roof
  • The skylight must not protrude further than 150mm from the slope of the roof

If your plans for a skylight do not meet these requirements, then you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority.


Renovating or replacing old windows can change the entire feel of a house and increase your curb appeal, but there are some restrictions. For example, if you are looking to replace the current style of window with something different (and not in line with the style in the neighbourhood) then you may need to get planning permission to do so. If instead, you are looking to keep the same style of window but just have it revamped for a fresher look, you generally won’t need it. 

Additionally, adding internal secondary glazing to your windows does not need planning permission, as you are not changing the windows themselves. The same goes for general repairs and painting- these are all covered in your Householder Permitted Development Rights. 

If you are wanting to put a window in a top floor room (such as an attic or converted living space), and that window is not a skylight, then there are some restrictions. For example, if the window is to open, then this part of the window must be 1.7 meters from the floor of the room. Also, the glass should be obscured if you are looking to avoid needing planning permission. If your window does not meet these requirements, then planning permission will need to be acquired before work takes place. 

Listed buildings and designated areas

As you might already be aware, having a house in a designated area or one that is a listed building means further restrictions on your home development. This is due to needing to preserve historic buildings and sites, as well as not impeding on natural landscapes. When buying your home, you are likely to be made aware of these statuses, but it is a good idea to research them when you want to build or change your home.

Listed buildings are put into different ‘grades’ or categories that have different restrictions placed upon them. If you are not sure if your house is a listed building, you can use the National Heritage List for England search tool to check before planning any renovations. If you do live in a listed building, then it is best to check with your local planning authority as to what is protected and what can be changed in line with their restrictions. 

Designated areas cover conservation areas, national parks, world heritage sites and ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’. The restrictions on these areas are put in place so as not to disrupt the natural environment through building and also keep buildings in similar conditions.

So, do you need planning permission for windows? The short answer is, sometimes. If you are unsure if you need planning permission, we advise you to contact your local planning authority to be certain of your position for home renovations.

If you would like more information on how we can help you with changing the glazing, or adding secondary glazing, please contact our team, today.