When it comes to gardening, fencing is a crucial aspect not only for aesthetic appeal but also for privacy, safety, and marking boundaries. However, erecting a garden fence isn’t as simple as buying some panels and posts. In the UK, there are specific rules and regulations about how high your garden fence can be. Here’s everything you need to know on how high your garden fence can be.
Understanding Fence Height Regulations
The maximum height of a garden fence in the UK is determined by its location and its proximity to a highway.
1. Fences Next to a Highway
If your fence is next to a highway (which includes the pavement and footpath) or it’s your front garden fence, the legal height limit is 1 metre or about 3.3 feet. This is to ensure safety and visibility for pedestrians and vehicles.
2. Rear Garden Fences
For fences at the rear of the property, which do not border a highway, the maximum height is 2 metres or about 6.5 feet.
As Jimmy Englezos, Senior Product Manager at Ronseal, explains, “Most councils allow you to build a fence up to two meters (6.5 feet) high. If you want to build higher, you will need planning permission so check with your local council.”
He further elucidates on fence panels, “When you buy a fence panel, it might be higher than two meters. But don’t worry, this is to account for the portion that you will secure in the ground.”
3. Fences Between Neighbours
There are no specific legal height limits for fences between neighbours’ gardens, but it’s generally accepted that rear fences can be up to 2 metres tall. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss any fencing plans with your neighbours before installation to maintain a harmonious relationship.
Obtaining Planning Permission
Should you wish to have a fence higher than the standard legal limits, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local council. When deciding on your application, the council will consider the potential impact of your proposed fence on neighbours, the local area, and any relevant codes or regulations. Keep in mind that obtaining planning permission might involve fees and take time, so it’s advisable to plan ahead.
While height is a significant factor, it’s not the only thing to consider when installing a garden fence.
Determine who owns the boundary fence. The deeds to your property may indicate this. If the fence is yours, you can make changes to it, subject to regulations. However, if it’s your neighbour’s, you’ll need to discuss any changes with them.
The design of the fence might impact how intrusive it appears. For instance, a trellis or a fence with spaced boards can provide privacy while still allowing light through and appearing less obtrusive.
Consider the maintenance requirements of your chosen fencing materials. Wood fences need regular treatment to prevent rot, while metal or composite fencing might need less upkeep.
In conclusion, while you may wish for a high fence for reasons like privacy, it’s essential to know the legal limitations and obtain necessary permissions to avoid potential disputes. Respecting these boundaries contributes to a harmonious and respectful neighbourhood environment.
Remember, a well-thought-out and correctly installed fence can provide the finishing touch to your garden, offering a blend of privacy, security, and aesthetic appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What if I want to build a fence higher than the regulations allow?
If you wish to build a fence higher than the regulations permit, you need to apply for planning permission from your local council. They will consider factors such as the potential impact on neighbours and the local environment before making a decision.
Can I attach something to the top of my fence to make it taller?
Any additions that make the fence taller, including trellises or extensions, must also adhere to the height regulations. If the total height, including the added parts, exceeds the allowed limit, you’ll need planning permission.
What happens if I build a fence too high without permission?
If you construct a fence that’s too high without the necessary planning permission, you may receive an enforcement notice requiring you to lower or remove the fence. Non-compliance can result in fines.
Does my neighbour have a say in the height of my fence?
Although there aren’t strict legal rules about this, it’s generally considered good practice to discuss your plans with your neighbour, especially if the fence is on a shared boundary. This can help maintain good relations and prevent disputes.
How can I find out who owns the fence?
Ownership details may be included in your property deeds. If you can’t find this information or the deeds are unclear, try discussing it with your neighbour or consult a solicitor.
What is the maximum height for a gate in the UK?
Gates that face a highway, similar to fences, should not exceed 1 metre in height without planning permission. For other gates, such as those in the rear garden, the height limit is typically 2 metres. However, any specific covenant on your property might dictate otherwise.
Remember, the rules can vary slightly based on your local authority, so it’s always best to check with them if you’re uncertain. The goal is to balance your needs and preferences with respect for regulations and your neighbours.