Daylight & Sunlight

Daylight & Sunlight

What is daylight and sunlight?

Daylight and sunlight is defined as the volume of natural light entering a building to provide a satisfactory level of illumination to the building’s users between sunrise and sunset.

How does a daylight and sunlight assessment differ from a rights of light assessment?

Whilst not legally binding, local planning authorities will often request a daylight and sunlight assessment from the scheme’s developer. This is usually to prevent legal action carried out by neighbouring properties if the scheme affects their natural daylight in habitable rooms (i.e. kitchen, bedrooms and living rooms). Rights of light is a legal matter separate to the planning process so parties in question can take legal action if they feel their right to light has been breached. Rights of light can be applied to any room, habitable or not.

Why should I have a daylight and sunlight assessment?

With increased density in town and city centres, combined with a growing awareness of social and environmental issues; local authorities nationwide are placing a greater importance on the effect new developments could have on their surrounding area. Assessing whether a new construction fits in with the local authority planning department’s daylight and sunlight parameters is an integral aspect to a planning application. During the process of applying for planning permission, typical assessments use the Building Research Establishment (BRE) report ‘Site Layout for Daylight and Sunlight 2011’ (previously called BRE Digest 209). These assessments ensure you maximise the use of natural light to enhance the quality of new development, as well as ensuring that the neighbouring residential properties remain well-lit in the post development condition.

Several major factors are considered during an assessment. Examples include:

  • Height of construction
  • Distance to external boundaries
  • Size of construction
  • Orientation
  • Topography

Other benefits to an assessment

The assessments also assist the scheme’s energy consumption by providing calculations so that the building is less reliant on artificial light, boosting energy performance by natural light!

Our specialist software, together with our consultants’ detailed understanding of the relevant standards, enables us to provide accurate advice and innovative solutions that can help developers and architects to maximise the development potential of a site. TFT use the aforementioned BRE report to evaluate the daylight and sunlight impacts, which is the principle guidance used by local authorities.

Furthermore, our design input with regards to room layouts and window sizes is vital in ensuring the delivery of high-quality residential accommodation. We can also provide the relevant assessments for BREEAM-the world’s leading sustainability assessment-either independently or in conjunction with TFT’s Sustainability service.

Our Daylight & Sunlight team are always working one step ahead to pre-empt any obstacles or to seize opportunities for you. They will ensure that the specific requirements of each client are addressed, and the appropriate strategy is implemented efficiently.

Our expertise includes:

  • Pre-acquisition advice and feasibility studies
  • Massing studies to support the design development phase
  • Assessments of neighbouring properties
  • Assessments to proposed residential dwellings
  • Overshadowing to neighbouring amenity
  • Specialised reports to support planning application
  • Environmental impact assessments

These services form part of our wider neighbourly matters offering, which also includes party-wall consultancy and over-sailing advice. Neighbourly matters are an integral part of TFT’s Development and Project Consultancy service line. Get in touch with us today.