Planning Regulations & your Garden.
Walls, fences, hedges, trees, swimming pools,
garden ponds, gates driveways, patios, sheds,
summer houses, tennis courts, greenhouses, dog
Where do 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 not permitted
Class E.1 Development is not permitted by
Class E if —
(a) - the total area of ground covered by
buildings, enclosures and
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
(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 antenna; or
(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
- 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
- Highways 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 & Garden
If you live in a house! (There are different
rules for flats and maisonettes)
- 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
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 road.
You do not need Planning Permission for a garden
shed or summer house **
or a swimming pool
or tennis courts
or sauna cabin
or dog's kennel or other animal enclosure!
or a garden pond
- 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 necessary.
- If more than half of the area of land around
the 'house' is covered by the structure, then it
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
- Outbuildings 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
- 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 consent.
Flats & Maisonettes (I didn't make these rules -
complain to the government!)
planning permission for....
- Any garage, any garden shed, or any
- Any hard standing - such as a patio!
- Any wall or fence
Any other work that would materially alter the
appearance of your flat or maisonette.
Consult with your neighbours before
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.
The planning consent procedure can take up to 8
weeks - sometimes more!
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?
NB. 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!