Do I Need Planning Permission For a Fence?

Close board fencing with trellis

One of the first questions you may have when you’re thinking of putting up a new fence is whether or not you need planning permission.

When planning permission is required

You will need planning permission for a new fence in England if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • the fence is over 2 metres (6ft 6in) tall
  • the fence is over 1 metre (3ft 3in) tall and next to a road or footpath
  • you’re prevented by a planning condition or an Article 4 Direction (restrictions on permitted development rights made by the local planning authority). This type of condition could apply to open plan or shared surface developments.
  • your house is a listed building (find out if your house is listed)
  • the fence forms a boundary with a listed building or its attached land (curtilage).

Can I put trellis on top of a 6-foot fence?

If you want to add trellis to the top of your fence, the total height must not exceed the limits described above, that is, 2m (6ft 6in) or 1m (3ft 3in) next to a road or footpath. 

These criteria may vary depending on your location, so you should always check with your local planning authority. You should also inform your neighbour(s) if the fence will be on their property’s boundary – this simple courtesy can head off any disputes later on.

How close to the road can you put up a fence?

Fence adjacent to the road

There's little in the way of definitive information on this point. UK legislation defines the permitted height of fencing that is "adjacent" to a footpath or highway, but doesn't define "adjacent". However, it's generally accepted that fences at least one metre from the road are limited to one meter in height, and fences more than 1 metre from the road can be up to two metres tall.

As this isn't set in stone, it would be wise to seek the advice of your local planning officials before you erect any fence close to a path or road.

Do I need planning permission to put up a fence in a Conservation Area?

Oddly, we can't find any official UK information about whether planning permission is required to put up a fence in a Conservation Area, but you may well need permission to take one down. We recommend you check with your local authority Conservation Officer.

Planning permission for fences and listed buildings

If any part of the site is a listed building, or within the curtilage of a listed building, you will need planning permission before you put up a fence. 

What could happen if I don’t get planning permission for my fencing?

Your local authority could issue an enforcement notice to take down any fence or gate which doesn’t comply with permitted development and which hasn’t obtained planning permission.

Enforcement notices can be issued within four years of the date that the fence or gate was put up; after this period there is very little risk of action being taken. If your neighbours don’t raise any objections and the local authority doesn’t notice within this time, it’s unlikely that an enforcement notice will be served.

That said, we’d always recommend that you obtain planning permission when required to avoid a potentially stressful and expensive situation developing later.

Fence in a garden

Is planning permission required to take down or alter a fence?

In ordinary circumstances you don’t need permission to take down, alter, improve or maintain an existing fence or gate as long as anything you replace it with doesn’t increase its height.

If you’re looking to have domestic, commercial or agricultural fencing professionally installed, call us on 01865 863428 or 07900 938061 for a quote.

Released On 7th Jul 2016

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