Planning Regulations & your
Walls, fences, hedges, trees, swimming pools,
garden ponds, gates driveways, patios, sheds,
summer houses, tennis courts, greenhouses, dog
you stand? You may be surprised - especially if
you own a flat!
Fences walls, trees,
hedges & gates
Planning permission is required if..............
The section below is the
latest rendering of the Planning Act - October
2009. We have simply copied it at the moment,
but we will translate it into everyday English -
with examples - as soon as possible.
The provision within the curtilage of the
dwelling house of —
- (a) - any
building or enclosure, swimming or other
pool required for a
purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the
dwelling house as such, or
the maintenance, improvement or other
alteration of such a building or
(b) - a container used for domestic heating
purposes for the storage of
oil or liquid petroleum gas.
Development is not permitted by Class E if —
- (a) - the
total area of ground covered by buildings,
containers within the curtilage (other than
the original dwellinghouse)
would exceed 50% of the total area of the
curtilage (excluding the
ground area of the original dwellinghouse);
- (b) - any
part of the building, enclosure, pool or
container would be
situated on land forward of a wall forming
the principal elevation of
the original dwellinghouse;
- (c) - the
building would have more than one storey;
- (d) -
the height of the building, enclosure or
container would exceed—
(i)4 metres in the case of a building
with a dual-pitched roof,
- (ii) -
2.5 metres in the case of a building,
enclosure or container
within 2 metres of the boundary of the
curtilage of the dwellinghouse,
(iii)3 metres in any other case;
- (e) - the
height of the eaves of the building would
exceed 2.5 metres;
- (f) - the
building, enclosure, pool or container would
be situated within
the curtilage of a listed building;
- (g) - it
would include the construction or provision
of a veranda,
balcony or raised platform;
- (h) - it
relates to a dwelling or a microwave
(i) - the capacity of the container would
exceed 3,500 litres.
- Your House is
a listed building.
- If the fence,
wall or gate, is next to a highway used for
vehicles (a footpath is part of the highway) -
over 1m height requires permission.
- Where it is
not next to a highway, any fence gate or wall
over 2m will require permission.
- Hedges or
trees - to whatever height - do not require
planning permission! (Even if they are next to a
highway.) You will need to check that there were
or are no restrictions on your property though:
such as those that apply to 'open plan' estates.
- There are
restrictions however under the 1980 highways act
act 1980 - summary
- Section 136.
The Highways Authority may request a court order
for pruning, if the highway is being damaged by
the exclusion of the sun due to a hedge or tree.
Section 138. It is an offence to plant a
hedge without the Highways Authorities
Section 141. It is an offence to plant a
tree within 15ft of the centre of the
carriageway. This is subject to S64, S96 and
Section 142. The Highways Authority may
grant a license to a member of the public
allowing them to plant and maintain vegetation
near the highway.
Section 154. The Highways Authority may
serve a notice requiring the pruning of
vegetation which obstructs the passage of
vehicles, the view of drivers, the light from a
street lamp, etc to be cut. This section also
covers the ordering of the removal of dangerous
trees which may threaten the users of the road.
The work should be carried out within 14 days.
Patios & Driveways &
If you live in a house!
(There are different rules for flats and
- If you live in
a house, there are no planning restrictions for
any size area of patio or other hard standing -
providing that it is for 'domestic' purposes -
for the rear garden. You can concrete the
whole lot over if you want.
- However, if
you build a new driveway which will cross a
pavement or verge, then you will need the
permission of your council's Highways
- From 1 October
2008 there are new rules for householders if you
want to pave over your front gardens.
You will NOT need planning permission if a new
driveway uses or porous surfacing which allows
water to drain through. This will include
surfacing such as gravel, shingle, permeable
concrete, block paving or porous asphalt. Also
if the rainwater is directed to a nearby lawn or
border to drain naturally. HOWEVER - If the
surface to be covered is more than five square
metres planning permission will be needed for
laying traditional, impermeable driveways that
do not control rainwater running off onto roads.
- You will also
need Highways Dept. permission and possibly
planning permission if you wish to make a new or
wider access onto a trunk or other classified
- You do not
need Planning Permission for a garden shed or
summer house **
- or a swimming
- or tennis
- or greenhouse
- or sauna cabin
- or dog's
kennel or other animal enclosure!
- or a garden
- You will
need permission for a domestic oil storage tank
- or other such container - if the capacity is
more than 3,500L. or if it is more than 3m high.
(**Restrictions to the above)
- A building or
other structure must not be nearer to any
highway, than the nearest part of the 'house'.
(Unless the 'structure' is more than 20m from
that highway incl. bridleways, footpaths and
byways.) Otherwise, a planning application is
- If more than
half of the area of land around the 'house' is
covered by the structure, then it will
require planning consent
- If the
structure is used for any commercial use
whatever - including parking a commercial
vehicle - then planning consent must be
- If the shed or
structure is more than 3.00m high (4m for a
ridged roof) you will need permission.
and garages to be single storey with maximum
eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall
height of four metres with a dual pitched roof
or three metres for any other roof.
- Maximum height
2.5 metres if the building is within two metres
of a boundary.
- If the 'house
is a listed property you will need planning
Maisonettes (I didn't make these rules - complain
to the government!)
planning permission for....
- Any garage,
any garden shed, or any greenhouse!
- Any hard
standing - such as a patio!
- Any wall or
- Any other work
that would materially alter the appearance of
your flat or maisonette.
Consult with your
you start any work. They do have rights
- even if planning permission is not required for
your own particular project. For instance,
there is a legal right to light in
some circumstances. There must be a moral right to
light in all circumstances. Go and have a cup of
coffee: Talk it over first.
consent procedure can take up to 8 weeks -
The Planning Department of your local council will
require 'an application' together with some fairly
detailed plans (Oh, and a fee!) They will write to
your neighbours about your application, and will
also publish your application in the local press.
It is always a good idea to consult with your
planning department, before drawing up any plans.
Local councils are usually quite helpful these
days. It depends upon the individual of course.
But then doesn't everything?
These are guidelines based upon our interpretation
of the various planning regulations. I hate to say
this but, DO CONSULT A LAWYER if in any doubt!
By David Hughes
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