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The majority of homeowners will be able to install replacement windows without planning permission, assuming they are similar in appearance to the windows that were previously installed. Exceptions can occur in cases where the windows – normally along with some other changes – will significantly alter the property, or where the property is a listed building or subject to an Article 4 direction.

Will the windows change the appearance of the property?

Most people who are looking for replacement windows are simply going for an upgraded version of what they already have. They naturally tend to make decisions in keeping with the look of the property, and as such wouldn’t need to apply for planning permission. Replacements in this vein are not considered to have a significant or undesirable impact on the property’s appearance.

Things get tricker if the windows are going to significantly change something, which is often the case when they’re part of more extensive work. One simple example to illustrate this scenario is the installation of a new bay window where there wasn’t one before. Such a change to your house would likely need planning permission, but this is because the bay window as a whole is considered an extension, rather than the window units themselves causing a problem.

Similarly, if you’re planning on installing windows in a part of the property that previously didn’t have windows, you may need to seek planning permission if the work is extensive enough. You’ll have to check this on a case by case basis, as there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.


man planning with windows in the background

Listed properties and properties under an Article 4 direction

Some properties are placed under an Article 4 direction or listed to limit the type of work that can be done on them. Properties are normally placed in these categories because they have some kind of historical or architectural value that local authorities want to preserve. In these instances, you’re likely to need planning permission for work that wouldn’t require it normally.

If you want to stand a chance of the work being approved, you’ll need to make sure that your replacement windows will preserve the appearance and character of the property.

If your home is in a Conservation Area, you won’t need planning permission to replace windows and doors unless there is an Article 4 direction (mentioned above) in place.