Do I Need Planning Permission for My Flat Roof?

Any building project can come to a halt when faced with planning permission issues. Find out all you need to know about planning permission for flat roofing and skylights below.

Planning Permission

The majority of the time, you won’t need to apply for planning permission if you’re applying roofing to your property. Planning permission tends to deal more with the appearance of the proposal and so long as no major changes are made, this tends not to be so much of an issue.

There are certain guidelines you need to follow if you wish to be exempt from applying for planning permission when revamping your roofing. These guidelines only apply to houses, not flats, maisonettes or other developments, but they are as follows:

  • Alterations must not be any higher than the highest part of the existing roof
  • Any alterations made must not project any more than 150mm from the property’s current roof plane
  • Windows that are side facing must be obscured. Any opening must be 1.7m above the floor
  • Any side-facing windows under 1.7m above the ground must not be able to be opened.
  • No changes are made to the chimney, flue, soil or vent pipe, or solar panels.

According to these rulings, so long as your plans don’t end up extending the overall footprint of the building, in England and Wales the installation of roofing and skylights can be completed subject to these.

Adding solar panels to your roof may have different regulations to follow. We recommend seeking advice from the appropriate sources if this is something you’re planning for your project.

Building Regulations

Building regulations deal more with the technical and construction side of any roofing project, primarily for health and safety reasons, therefore it is a good idea to inform your Local Authority Building Control if you are planning a project like this, even if you do not seek planning permission.

Current regulations suggest that if you are re-covering or repairing less than 25% of your roof, you won’t need to inform your local authority. However, if this increases over 25%, or the materials you are using differ significantly and will alter how your roof performs, especially in the event of a fire, it is worth submitting an application.

In layman’s terms, Part L 1B section of the UK Building Regulations means that you must notify your Local Authority Building Control and submit an application if you replace your flat roof. Once this is carried out and the required insulation is also laid, you will then receive the appropriate certification

Replacing your roof or adding elements to your roof, such as skylights, should not affect the performance or safety of your roof, so if you’re under any worry that this might be a possibility, it’s worth getting in contact with the appropriate authority.