When homeowners in the UK want to make changes to their fence, they should always be aware of the implications it could have on their neighbour. Replacing an old fence with new fence panels is a common project that many people undertake, but depending on where you live, you may need your neighbours' permission before you start.

In England and Wales, if you plan to replace fence panels or build a fence along the shared boundary line between your property and your neighbour’s property, then it is likely that both parties will need to agree to the fence installation before any work can begin. Fencing must comply with relevant regulations for fences up to two metres high which are located at least partly on both sides of the boundary between different properties.

Fences are generally considered 'permitted development', meaning most types do not require planning permission from the local authority. However, if any part of your fence stands higher than two meters or is made from materials other than wood (such as brick or concrete), then you may need to obtain written approval before doing any work. This also applies when erecting boundary trellis or screens.  

Neighbourly disputes are increasingly becoming more common due to issues such as noise complaints, privacy concerns and boundaries disputes over property lines. While replacing a fence could help alleviate some of these issues, taking action without asking permission first can create further complications that neither party would want. A good rule of thumb is therefore to seek consent from all affected neighbours before replacing any part of your fence panels or constructing a new one altogether.

It's important to note that there is no formal process for obtaining neighbourly agreement for such tasks; however there are some steps you can take in order to ensure that all parties involved come away satisfied with the outcome:

- Have an open conversation: Explain why it’s necessary for you to replace/install a fence and ask if they have any objections prior to starting work;

- Be transparent: Share drawings and specifications with them so they know exactly what kind of fence will be built and where;

- Offer alternatives: If necessary, propose other solutions such as building walls instead of fences;

- Respect boundaries: Always remember that boundary lines cannot be moved without express consent from those affected by it.

Replacing a garden fence can be an effective way of improving your home's security as well as its aesthetic value. Undertaking such projects without proper preparation can lead to further complications down the line however – so always ensure you follow appropriate steps in order obtain agreement from affected neighbours beforehand!