New BRE Advice on Daylight and Sunlight

New BRE Advice on Daylight and Sunlight

In June 2022, the BRE released the new updated version of their guidelines ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight: A Guide to Good Practice’ (BRE 209 2022). This replaces the previous document dated 2011. Peter Spence, head of our Rights of Light team, gives an overview of the key changes.

The guidance contained in the revised advice has been updated to reflect the changes in the British Standard. It will have a major impact to the way applicants are required to assess natural lights conditions for all residential planning applications.

Our Rights of Light team have already worked on a few projects that have been submitted to planning under the new guidelines. There are frequently more local authorities asking for reports to adhere to the new guidelines.

For surrounding neighbouring properties, the guidelines remain largely the same, with Vertical Sky Component (VSC) and Daylight Distribution (DD) remaining the tests used for daylight amenity. Also, Annual Probable Sunlight House (APSH) remains the test used for sunlight amenity.

The main change is the way in which daylight and sunlight is measured for proposed habitable rooms. For daylight, the Average Daylight Factor (ADF) test and Daylight Distribution (DD) test have been replaced. The new tests are Daylight Factor (DF) and Spatial Daylight Autonomy (SDA Illuminance).

Moreover, the Annual Probable Sunlight Hours (APSH) test for sunlight amenity has also been replaced with the new Sunlight Exposure (SE) test. The new tests are more detailed than the superseded tests. For instance, the SDA test takes into account the location of the proposed building and calculates results on an hourly basis throughout a whole year.

These calculations are more intensive and take longer to run than the superseded tests. However, our daylight/sunlight software is now fully updated to undertake these tests.

Our team

calfordseaden’s Rights of Light team is fully equipped to deal with the changes and have been using the revised criteria on a range of projects. For further detail on these new analyses, or to register your interest for a CPD Seminar, please contact us here.