When it comes to personalising our gardens, adding a trellis can be both a functional and aesthetic choice. Whether it’s to support climbing plants, increase privacy, or simply add to the garden's beauty, trellises can transform a garden space significantly. However, before you start installing a trellis, it’s important to consider whether you need permission from your neighbours or not. This blog post explores the necessary considerations and legalities involved in erecting a trellis in the UK.

Understanding Boundary Lines

The first step before making any alterations to garden boundaries, including the installation of a trellis, is to identify the precise boundary lines of your property. Depending on whether the trellis will be attached to an existing fence, wall, or stand freely, understanding who owns the boundary feature is crucial. The deeds to your home usually outline this information. In general, if you plan to attach the trellis to a boundary structure owned by your neighbour, you will need their consent.

Planning Permissions

In most cases, adding a trellis to your garden does not require planning permission as long as it adheres to certain height restrictions. Under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, trellises added to a boundary wall or fence are permissible without planning permission, provided they do not raise the overall height beyond 2 metres.

However, for properties listed or located in conservation areas, different rules may apply, and it’s advisable to consult with your local planning authority beforehand.

The Right to Light and Privacy Issues

Another aspect to consider when adding a trellis, particularly one that supports climbing plants which may eventually obstruct light or view, is the 'Right to Light'. This doctrine allows for the receipt of natural light to windows and openings that have had uninterrupted access for 20 years or more. Erecting a trellis that compromises your neighbour’s right to light might lead to legal implications.

Privacy is another concern. If your trellis overlooks your neighbour's garden or living spaces, it could be considered an invasion of their privacy. Communicating with your neighbours about your plans can mitigate any potential disputes.

Effective Communication with Neighbours

Discussing your intentions with your neighbours is not only courteous but can also prevent misunderstandings or disputes in the future. A straightforward conversation about your plans can often lead to a mutual agreement that respects both parties' wishes and privacy. Documentation of any agreements made can provide clarity and security for both parties involved.


While you may not strictly need permission from your neighbours to erect a trellis in your garden, considering their views and the legal restrictions is essential. Adhering to planning permissions, respecting boundary lines and neighbours' rights can ensure the addition of your trellis enhances your garden without leading to disputes. In many cases, open communication and a little bit of diplomacy can go a long way in maintaining good relationships with your neighbours while creating the garden of your dreams.

Before undertaking any garden enhancement project, it's wise to carry out due diligence—check your property deeds, consult with local authorities if necessary, and most importantly, chat with your neighbours. After all, a peaceful and beautiful garden is best enjoyed when in harmony with those around us.