Planning permission for windows in flats
If you live in a flat that you own or rent an apartment and you need replacement windows, KJM would advise that you don’t proceed with a new window installation without checking that you have permission to do so first. The planning requirements for flats and maisonettes differs in many important ways to that which covers houses. If you give it some thought, replacing windows that look different from the other windows in a block of housing can ruin the aesthetics of a building.
If the windows are identical you should not need planning permission i.e. like-with-like replacements (this includes both the material used and designs) so if the new windows differ in appearance or size (this can include differing frame sizes) to those you are replacing (for instance, different glazing patterns/designs) you may well need to apply for planning permission.
Planning laws can vary or be interpruted differently
Local planning policy and the interpretation of the rules covering window replacements in flats varies from council to council and you are advised to contact your Local Planning Authority for advice before starting work. As a leaseholder, you should seek permission from your freeholder, management company or landlord before doing anything!
If your apartment/flat is part of a listed building you will need listed building consent and you should contact your local planning authority for advice on design and materials before you even ask for quotations. They are there to help so seeking their advice is a better route than just ‘ploughing on’ yourself! In some cases double glazing is not even permitted. Any external works to a listed building that affects its character without consent is an offence that could lead to prosecution.
Conservation areas and Article 4
If the property is in a conservation area then you may discover that an Article 4 direction has been enforced by the local planning authority which basically requires you to make a planning application for any window replacement that would otherwise have been categorised as being a “permitted development”. Article 4 is there to protect conservation areas from work that threatens their character and appearance.
Conclusion – always seek advice
Our advice with any window replacements is to seek advice from your local planning authority, not doing so could be a very costly mistake.