Replacement of windows in residential properties
The replacement of windows in a residential property may or may not require planning permission from the council, depending on the planning constraints on the property and the appearance of the proposed windows.
Most houses have permitted development rights, which make it possible to replace existing windows (or create new windows) without requiring planning permission from the council, so long as:
- The materials of the proposed windows must be 'of a similar appearance' to the materials of the existing windows, and
- Any upper floor side windows must be obscure-glazed and non-opening. (Note that the non-opening requirement does not apply if the parts of the window that can be opened would be more than 1.7m above internal floor level).
If the proposal does not comply with points (1) and (2) above then planning permission will be required.
It should be noted that not all houses have permitted development rights. Sometimes these rights have been removed by a condition attached to a previous planning permission or by an Article 4 Direction. If permitted development rights have been removed then planning permission will be required if there are noticeable differences between the existing and proposed windows.
Flats do not have permitted development rights for changes to windows. If the replacement windows are not the same as the existing windows, then planning permission will normally be required.
If you need to apply for planning permission, then policy 36(g) of the Unitary Development Plan 2007: Policies saved beyond 5 August 2010 and not superseded by the LDF Core Strategy January 2011 will apply when the council is making its decision. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your proposal complies with that policy.
Locally listed buildings and conservation areas
If you need to apply for planning permission and the property is on the council's list of buildings of local architectural or historic interest (the local list) or within a conservation area, then policies 46 and 47 of the Unitary Development Plan 2007: Policies saved beyond 5 August 2010 and not superseded by the LDF Core Strategy January 2011 will also apply when the council is making its decision. Replacement windows in these instances will be expected to be a very close match to the originals. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your proposal complies with those policies.
Statutory listed buildings
Irrespective of the need for planning permission if your property is on the statutory list (national list) of buildings of special architectural or historic interest then listed building consent will be required for any alteration.
Policy 45 of the Unitary Development Plan 2007: Policies saved beyond 5 August 2010 and not superseded by the LDF Core Strategy January 2011 will apply when the council is making its decision. The council will normally seek the retention and repair of windows on listed buildings. If the windows are beyond repair then the replacement windows will be expected to be an exact match to the originals in every respect. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your proposal complies with this policy.
Part L of the Building Regulations seeks to improve the thermal performance of new replacement of windows or doors. If you require advice on this please contact the council's Building Control team. Where meeting Part L is likely to harm the significance of a designated heritage asset it is advisable to involve the council's Conservation and Urban Design team in any discussions.
Improving windows without need for planning approval
The refurbishment and draught-proofing of existing windows can improve their thermal performance. Similarly, the installation of internal secondary glazing can also significantly improve thermal performance and sound insulation. These works do not require planning permission. Internal secondary glazing is generally supported on listed buildings but may require listed building consent depending on its impact on the special interest of the building.