When it comes to enhancing the privacy and security of your property, erecting a fence is a common solution many homeowners consider. Not only does a well-designed fence add to the aesthetic appeal of your home, but it also marks boundaries and deters uninvited guests. However, before you start planning your perfect fence, it's crucial to understand the legalities involved, especially regarding its height. In the UK, specific regulations dictate how high a fence can be without requiring planning permission. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of these rules to ensure your fencing project complies with local laws.

Understanding Planning Permission

Planning permission is a legal process in which you must gain approval from your local authority before carrying out certain building works, including erecting fences of a certain height. The purpose of seeking permission is to maintain a uniform appearance in the neighbourhood and ensure that any structural addition does not negatively impact the surrounding area.

How High Can You Go?

The general rule is that you can erect a fence up to 2 metres (around 6 feet 6 inches) in height without obtaining planning permission, provided it's not facing a public road. If the fence is to be placed next to a road, the height limit decreases to 1 metre (about 3 feet 3 inches) to preserve clear sightlines for traffic and pedestrians.

It's important to note that if your property lies within a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty, or falls under listed building status, additional restrictions may apply, and you might need planning permission regardless of the fence height.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions where you would need to seek planning permission, regardless of the fence height:

  • If your deed contains specific clauses that restrict the erection of fences.
  • If the fence forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its grounds.
  • If you are replacing a fence that required and received planning permission in the past.

Tips Before You Build

To avoid potential disputes and ensure that your fence complies with local regulations, consider the following tips:

  • Check Your Deed: Before starting your fencing project, review your house deed for any restrictions that might apply to the construction of a new fence.
  • Speak to Your Neighbours: Out of courtesy and to prevent potential disputes, talk to your neighbours about your plans. They might have concerns about privacy or other issues that could affect your project.
  • Consult the Local Planning Authority: If you're unsure whether your fencing project requires planning permission or if it falls under any exceptions, it's always best to consult with your local planning authority. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.


Erecting a fence can significantly enhance your home's privacy and security, but it's essential to be mindful of the legal requirements to avoid complications. By adhering to the height restrictions outlined above and engaging with your local planning authority when in doubt, you can ensure that your fence not only serves its purpose but also complies with UK regulations. Remember, investing time in research and preparation before beginning your fencing project can save you from potential headaches down the line.