Planning permission for a flat

If you live in a flat in Brighton & Hove, you may need to apply for full planning permission for changes to a window or door.

You'll need planning permission if:

  • it will be a different size to your existing window or door
  • you are changing a window to a door - by replacing with a patio or French door
  • it will be installed where there was not one before
  • it will be made of a different material to your existing window or door. For example, replacing a timber window with a uPVC window
  • it will look different to your existing window or door. For example, replacing a sash window with a casement window, changing the glazing bar pattern or a change in the thickness of the frames/joinery

If your flat is in a Conservation Area it is unlikely that planning approval would be granted for replacing a timber window with a UPVC window where it would be visible from the street/s surrounding the property. Check if you are in a Conservation Area.

If your flat is a listed building (or part of a listed building), you must always apply for listed building consent in addition to full planning permission. You don't need to pay for a listed building consent application.

You may also need to get separate consent from the freeholder to the alterations. You will need to contact them or your managing agent direct.

Planning permission for a house

If you live in a house in Brighton & Hove, you may need to apply for full planning permission for changes to a window or door.

You'll need planning permission if:

  • it differs in appearance to the existing materials, for example changing white UPVC to grey anthracite/UPVC
  • you're installing any new, clear glazed and/or openable window located on the upper floor of the side of your house, including the roof slope
  • you're replacing any existing opaque glazed windows with clear glazed and/or openable windows on the upper floor of the side of your house, including the roof slope

You won’t need planning permission if your new obscured-glazed windows are in an upper-floor side elevation and are either non opening or more than 1.7 metres above the floor level of the room in which it is installed.

If your house is located within a Conservation Area you will also have to apply for planning permission if:

  • your house is covered by an Article 4 Direction and you want to install, replace or alter windows or doors if they will be on the front of your house or side if seen from the street

If your house is in a Conservation Area it is unlikely that planning approval would be granted for replacing a timber window with a UPVC window if it is located on the front of the property or in any wall that is visible from the street.

If your house is a listed building (or part of), you must apply for listed building consent. This applies to all cases - even if you need planning permission. You don't need to pay for a listed building consent application

Replacing timber windows with uPVC windows

If your property is in a conservation area, replacing timber windows with uPVC windows would not likely be accepted where the windows are visible from the street.

Find more information in on our SPD09: Architectural features page.

Replacing single glazing with double glazing

Planning permission if you live in a flat

If you'd like to replace single glazing with double glazing, you won't need planning permission if there is no change in:

  • material
  • colour
  • size
  • method of opening
  • design

This only applies if your flat is not a listed building. If the flat is in a conservation area the replacement must retain or exactly match the external joinery design and dimensions of the existing window.

Planning permission if you live in a house

If there is no change in the material that the window is made from, planning permission is not needed. 

However, if your house is a listed building you’ll need to apply for Listed Building Consent. If it is in a conservation area covered by an Article 4 Direction, you'll need to apply for planning permission.

How to get confirmation that you do not need planning permission

You can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to prove that a window or door is lawful. This is both for existing and proposed installations.

Find out if it's likely you'll get planning permission

To find out whether your proposal is likely to be accepted, you can apply for pre-planning application advice.

How to apply and how long it takes

You can apply via the national planning portal

Find out what information you'll need with your application.

When we have received, checked and confirmed that your application is complete, it usually takes about 8  weeks for us to give you the outcome of your application.

However, this timescale can be longer if we need to agree changes to your proposal or if the application has to be decided at the monthly planning committee meeting.

More information

If you live in a historic property in a Conservation Area please see this Planning Advice Notice for more information on energy efficiency.