Home Business Insights & Advice Does a roof lantern need planning permission?

Does a roof lantern need planning permission?

by Sarah Dunsby
20th Feb 24 1:11 pm

A roof lantern is an architectural design feature that enhances the natural light in a space. This style is similar to a skylight, but it often features a raised design that resembles a lantern. They enhance the natural light in a room and also provide the impression of greater vertical space.

Roof lanterns are a beautiful enhancement to any home, providing an abundance of natural light and creating a stunning focal point for a room. However, before embarking on the installation of a roof lantern, homeowners often wonder whether planning permission is required. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size, location, and design of the proposed roof lantern.

Does my roof lantern need planning permission?

In the United Kingdom, planning permission regulations govern the construction and alteration of buildings to ensure that developments are appropriate and do not negatively impact the surrounding area. Securing planning permission for a project is essential as it will ensure that the finished structure is legal.

While certain home improvements may fall under permitted development rights, which allow for minor alterations without formal planning permission, it is essential to consider the specific guidelines regarding roof lanterns.

One of the key considerations is the size of the roof lantern. Permitted development rights typically allow for roof lanterns within certain size limits. For example, in England, a roof lantern must extend at most 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane, and its highest point must be at most the highest part of the existing roof.

Another requirement to consider is that the roof lantern must be at most 3 metres above ground level in height. These limitations are in place to ensure that the roof lantern remains proportionate to the existing structure and does not dominate the skyline.

How does location impact planning permission requirements?

The location of the proposed roof lantern also plays a crucial role in determining whether planning permission is required. In designated conservation areas, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and World Heritage Sites, stricter regulations may apply to preserve the character and appearance of the area.

If this applies to your home, you may need to seek planning permission, even for relatively small roof lanterns, to ensure that they are in keeping with the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, the design of the roof lantern can impact whether planning permission is necessary. Planning authorities consider factors such as the materials used, the style of the roof lantern, and its visual impact on the property and its surroundings.

A well-designed roof lantern that complements the existing architecture and enhances the overall appearance of the property is likely acceptable without the need for planning permission.

How will I know if I need planning permission?

If you’re not sure if you need planning permission to install a roof lantern, it’s always a good idea to check before you move forward with your plans. Please don’t rely on a builder or installer to have this information for you, as they might assume that you have sought the relevant permission before instructing their services.

Before buying a skylight or roof lantern, make sure that you consult with a builder or architect to confirm that it meets the requirements. In some cases, obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness (also known as a Lawful Development Certificate) for your specific roof lantern may provide peace of mind by confirming that the proposed roof lantern falls within permitted development rights and does not require planning permission.

Closing thoughts

In summary, whether a roof lantern requires planning permission depends on various factors, including its size, location, and design, as well as the specific planning regulations governing the area in which the property is situated.

By carefully considering these factors and seeking appropriate advice, homeowners can ensure that their roof lantern installation proceeds smoothly and complies with all relevant planning requirements.

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