Do You Need Planning Permission for Windows? (2024)

Fitting Scotland Perfectly

Do You Need Planning Permission for Windows? (2024)

Do You Need Planning Permission for Windows? (2024)

Replacement windows and doors are a fantastic way to refresh and revitalise your home, not to mention boosting both security and energy efficiency.

In general, replacement windows do not require planning permission although there are certain situations where this might change.

Double glazing in Edinburgh is a fantastic investment, but the last thing you need is to install double glazing and then realise that planning permission was in fact required and you need to remove them again.

A good rule of thumb is that if you intend to install replacement windows or the same style, size, and colour, you will not need planning permission whilst a more radical change may require it.

It all comes down to permitted development rights, the rules which govern which changes a homeowner in Edinburgh can and can’t make to their own property without the need for a planning application.


When do you need planning permission for windows and doors?

There are four main situations in which planning permission will almost certainly be required to replace windows in the UK.

If any of the following apply, seek the guidance of your local planning authority before replacing windows as you may need to obtain planning permission:

  • Your property is a listed building
  • Your property is located within a conservation area
  • You wish to install a new bay window (classed as an extension)
  • Your new windows and doors are dramatically different in design to your old windows.


Planning Permission for New Windows on Listed Buildings

Ah, here is one of those sneaky exceptions we mentioned earlier.

Edinburgh is home to more listed buildings than anywhere else in Scotland, and if you live in a listed building, you will need to seek listed building consent from the local planning authority before you make ANY changes to your window openings, window frames, doors, or pretty much anything else.

Some of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh date back several centuries but any property located within one of Edinburgh’s 50 conservation areas will require local authority approval to replace existing windows with replacement windows, and the permitted development rights possessed by property owners in these areas are more restricted than in other areas of Scotland.

If you live in a listed building, the rules are even stricter and listed building consent will be required before any alterations are made. Do NOT make changes to a listed building without this consent. Not only could your shiny new windows be removed, you could end up facing criminal charged.


Planning permission in a Conservation area

Conservation areas are designed to protect a designated area of special architectural or historical importance by restricting the changes that can be made to the appearance of the area.

This isn’t restricted to building regulations but also to the felling of trees, infrastructure, and much more besides.

Some people get confused between conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty, but these are very different things and many inner city areas of Edinburgh are designated as conservation areas.

If your property is indeed located in one of these areas, obtaining planning permission to change your windows is not usually as difficult as obtaining listed building double glazing planning permission as long as you stick to the windows of similar appearance and window type.

Your local planning authority will be able to advise you on what is acceptable and let you know if you need to apply for planning permission.


Bay Window Installation

Bay windows are a bit different to sash windows, casement windows and other standard window designs in that installation of new bay windows on a property which did not already have them is classed as an extension.

Changing the external appearance of a property is one thing, but altering the floor plan is another and adding bay windows at the front of your house WILL require planning permission.

However, if you are simply replacing an existing bay window, or installing a bay window at the back or side of your property you will NOT need planning permission. Planning permission is not required for a new window opening or an upper floor side elevation.


Major Style Alterations

If your new window openings are going to be dramatically different in style to your old ones, you may or may not need planning permission, but you should always check with the local council, management company, and even the local conservation officer to make sure before going ahead.

This is most likely when making a change in material, from timber windows to aluminium windows, for example, or in the type of window openings.

As long as you are not going against the grain too much in comparison to the surrounding area and do not fall into any of the categories mentioned above, the change will almost certainly come under permitted development rights and you are good to go without planning permission.

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