Do I need planning permission for windows?

Before starting any building work or home improvements it is essential to obtain the correct planning permission – failure to do so can result in expensive. In our recent series of planning permissions guides we have covered the regulations around extensions, now it time to look at planning permission for windows.

There are several different scenarios a homeowner might find themselves facing and we’ve hopefully covered them in the points below. If you have a specific query featured in the list below click on the title to navigate directly to that relevant content section.

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Do you need planning permission for a window?

If you are just replacing a window or door for that matter with a-like-for-like in terms of size and style you do not need to apply for planning permission. For homeowners looking to add a new window in some cases you will require planning permission.

When planning is required?

If you are fitting a skylight or roof light that protrudes more than 150mm beyond the roof slip. If the skylight is higher than the highest point of the roof. 

Do you need planning permission for a bay window?

Bay windows protrude from walls and as a result they are treated like an extension by planning regulators.

• If you are looking to replace an existing bay window then planning permission is not required.

• If your property does not have a bay window but you were looking to add one, you will require planning permission.

• If the new bay window is not located at the front of the property then you usually do not require planning.

bay windows on traditional house
Bay windows are common place on new & period properties

Do you need planning permission for a dormer window?

Dormer windows are often located at the front of houses meaning they usually require formal planning permission.

Windows located at the rear or side of properties normally fall under permitted developments but it is always best to check with your local planning authority as regulations often change.

dormer windows on traditional property

Do I need planning permission to paint my windows?

Under most circumstances homeowners do not require planning permission or building regulations in order to paint their windows. There may be restrictions on external changes that can be made, for example properties sitting in conservation areas or listed buildings.

Listed Buildings

Alterations to listed buildings require prior consent before aesthetic changes can be made, this includes windows, their style and frame colour.



Properties held under leasehold ownership, may have covenants in the lease that restrict certain style and colour choices of windows. Leaseholds usually apply to flats, apartments and some new developments. If your property is owned under a leasehold you will need to contact the management company to seek permission or guidance.

Designated Areas

Properties in conservation areas or National Parks have restrictions similar to that of listed buildings. Homeowners will need to seek approval from local authorities before making alterations.


Article 4 Direction

An Article 4 Direction is a means by which local planning authorities can limit planning for certain types of development, or changes of use. If your home has a directive in place this will overrides permitted development rights.

Do I need planning permission for secondary glazing?

Secondary glazing is a great option for homeowners of listed properties as they can provide much needed insulation, noise reduction and population limitation whilst retaining the traditional character of the buildings original windows. 

Homeowners wishing to make improvement to a listed property will need to seek Listed Building Consent and even then consent will be regulated, bespoke and ultimately expensive. Secondary glazing sits on the inside of the house and is considered a reversible alteration that does not damage the exterior character of a listed. Secondary glazing can often be demounted, nor does it change the structure or fabric of the building. 

All these factors mean secondary glazing does not need planning permission, although residents might wish to contact their local council’s planning department.


Do you need building regulations for new windows?

Building regulations govern how a structure is built and the quality of that structure. This differs from planning permission which dictates whether a structure can be built or adapted.

If planning permission is required then you will also need to comply with building regulations for your windows. The areas building regulations cover for windows include:

Thermal heat loss:

Measured as a U-Value, heat loss is the amount of heat that can pass through the glass both in and out of a property. What to learn more? Try reading our guide on how double glazing works?


Fire Safety

Some windows may require to be fixed shut. The reason for this is to limit the potential for fire to spread between buildings, particularly in density populated building such as apartment blocks.


If a window size is being reduced it must remain at a size a person can fit through in the event of a fire. New windows simply need to comply with set regulation as outlined by planningportal.co.uk.



Rooms that produce lots of stream such as bathrooms and kitchens require ventilation, extraction or fans. Standard windows used in other rooms use trickle vents.

Want to learn more?

If you are planning a home renovation or looking to add value to your home please visit our contact form to get a quote.

If you found this interesting you might also want to read....

Do I need planning permission for an extension?

Our series of buying guides aims to give you as much information around our industry and products before you get a quote. So let’s begin with the basics planning permission.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

Whether you are looking to accommodate an ever growing family or create additional space whilst avoiding full scale building work, a new conversatory can offer the perfect solution.



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