Do You Need Planning Permission for Flat Roof Skylights?

Do You Need Planning Permission for Flat Roof Skylights?

Any major building or domestic renovation to roofing needs careful thought about if, when and where planning permission is needed. If you’re considering adding flat roof skylights, you’ll need to look at the currently permitted development regulations to determine whether your project falls within the guidelines.

In the UK and Wales, the current regulations carry the following limits:

  • Any alteration is to project no more than 150mm from the existing plane of the roof.
  • No alteration can be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
  • Side-facing windows should be obscure glazed.
  • Any opening must be 1.7m above the floor level.

There are many different types of flat roof skylight on the market today across the UK and some may be covered under the permitted development allowance. However, even some of the lowest profile skylights may require an upstand to enable secure installation, especially on flat roofing – many companies suggest that the upstand should be a minimum of 150mm. This is usual practice and offers greater security for your installation over the long term.

Other considerations for flat roof skylights and building compliance

There are other considerations that need to be taken into account when installing skylights and complying with regulations:

  • Access – permission may be required if the skylight doubles as an access or escape hatch.
  • Thermal performance – research shows that skylights contribute to compliance with Part L of the building regulations for thermal performance.
  • Fragility/non-fragility – the elimination or reduction of known or predictable shatter hazards.

The permitted development allowances only apply to domestic houses and not to other types of properties:

  • Flats and maisonettes
  • Converted houses (with change of use)
  • Conservation areas
  • Areas under planning conditions

More information from the UK government regarding planning permission can be found here.

Making sure your project falls within the guidelines

Major renovations and alterations to the home can be a stressful process. Adding to this by failing to adhere to planning permission requirements can be catastrophic for your development (and your sanity), as it can result in a request for removal of certain elements of the build.

There are other factors involved in the planning regulations, such as whether your existing roof structure is in good condition and capable of bearing the additional weight of flat roof skylights, for example. These are important safety factors.

In these instances, it can be a good idea to engage a surveyor or call in a local council buildings inspector to assess your project. Good skylights installers or builders should know whether you will need to apply for planning permission for your flat roof project.

Permaroof glass edge skylights

The Permaroof range of glass edge skylights contain active solar control glass as standard, efficiently reflecting heat and improving the thermal value of the installation (U value of 1.3w/m2k).

Fixed from inside, security concerns are reduced, and potential leak points eliminated. An upstand is required of 150mm to ensure a reliable seal when working with an EPDM flat roof membrane or other single-ply roofing system.

Planning permission is not difficult to obtain for many UK homeowners and local councils offer help, advice and guidance throughout the process. Plans will need to be submitted at the first stage and buildings inspectors will likely oversee the entire project at critical stages.

Talk to the Permaroof teams today on 01773 441947 about your flat roof skylights and let us support you in your project.