Do I Need Planning Permission To Build A Fence In England?


Home renovations are about improving the aesthetical appeal, comfort and safety of your property. 

Building a fence is one of the simplest exterior improvements you can make inline with those objectives. However, in the excitement of upgrading a property, many homeowners forget to consider whether or not they need planning permission before installing a fence. 

Furthermore, if you are planning on building a fence in your garden or paddock you should be aware of the UK’s property boundaries rules. It can help you avoid future conflicts with your neighbours. 


Fencing That Requires Planning Permission

The planning regime for England requires a planning permission application for certain fencing projects. In this article, we explore the current regulations in place to help you plan in advance.

If you are planning on installing a fence or gate over 1 metre high, you will need to apply for planning permission. 

A situation where this rule wouldn’t apply is if your house is located in a vulnerable area. In this case, regardless of the height of the fence, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. This is enforced by an article 4 direction or a local planning condition. In this scenario, national permitted development rights would be null if deemed necessary to protect the local area.

And finally, if your property is considered to be of national importance, historically or architecturally or it is located next to a listed building, structure or land, then an application will also be required.


Fencing That Doesn’t Require Planning Permission

Now that you know what you do need permission for, we can go over the fencing projects that can proceed without it. Should you plan to do improvements to an already existing fence, you can legally carry on with the renovation, unless it involves increasing its height.

The same rule applies if you are looking to take down your current fence unless your property is located in a conservation area. If you are unsure, you can use The Wildlife Assessment Check free tool to find out.

Hedges, although they aren’t strictly speaking a fence, also feature on the list of the permitted builds without prior consent. 


Which Side Of The Fence Is My Responsibility?

In general, there’s no record in England and Wales of the exact boundary between two properties or even of who owns the fence between 2 properties. This means that the fence you build may end up being co-owned by your neighbour.

There are a few simple ways you can avoid future problems, but the first thing to do is to check your deeds if you haven’t already done so. This will give you an overview of current and past information about already existing boundary agreements. If you end up discovering there aren’t any, you can have a chat with your neighbour and resolve it yourselves. However, should want to make it official you can always make a boundary agreement with your neighbour

On the other hand, if we are talking about an already existing fence, and the check you’ve requested shows a “T” on your side of the boundary line that would mean you are the sole owner of the fence. Should it be two attached “T” rather than one then your neighbour and you are indeed co-owners of the fence and therefore have joint responsibility.


Bespoke Fencing Services

If you are looking to enhance the aesthetics of your site whilst providing a higher level of security with a brand new fence, at K&S Fencing we can help. Get in touch to discuss your requirements or if you have any questions regarding England’s fence building regulations.  

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