Fencing plays an important role in demarcating boundaries, providing privacy, and enhancing a property's aesthetics. However, when it comes to building a fence, it is essential to consider the height limitations to ensure compliance with planning regulations. In this article, we will discuss the guidelines set by the UK government for fence heights without the need for planning permission, related legislation, and the importance of taking neighbouring properties into consideration.

Understanding Permitted Development Rights

In the United Kingdom, all home improvement projects, including fencing, are governed by the concept of permitted development rights. These are general rights granted by the Town and Country Planning Order (also known as the General Permitted Development Order) that allow property owners to carry out particular construction work and alterations without applying for planning permission.

However, these rights are subject to specific limitations, among which, are fence height restrictions. It is crucial to understand these restrictions to avoid conflicts with neighbours and potential legal issues.

Fence Height Regulations

Under the permitted development rights, the following guidelines apply for fences, walls, and gates without requiring planning permission:

  • For properties facing a highway or footpath, the maximum height allowed is 1 metre.
  • For properties not facing a highway or footpath, the maximum height allowed is 2 metres.

It is important to note that these guidelines apply when the fence, wall, or gate's primary purpose is to enclose or separate the property's boundaries from its surroundings.

Any fencing exceeding these height limitations will require planning permission from the local council. Keep in mind that these limitations may vary based on the specific rules of your local planning authority. For instance, if your property is within a Conservation Area, a National Park, or other designated areas, there may be additional rules and restrictions.

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

If your property is a listed building or is located within a conservation area, the rules for fences, walls, and gates are stricter. You will most likely require planning permission to construct or alter any boundary structure in these circumstances.

It is crucial to consult the relevant authorities and obtain the necessary permissions before starting any work to avoid penalties or forced alterations to your fencing.

Communicating with Neighbours

Before constructing a fence, it is advisable to discuss your intentions with your neighbours, regardless of whether planning permission is required. Informing your neighbours can avoid potential disputes and help maintain a positive relationship with them. The Party Wall Act 1996 may also apply in certain circumstances, ensuring that any work carried out on shared boundaries is agreed upon by both neighbours.


In conclusion, the height regulations for constructing fences, walls, or gates without planning permission are 1 metre for properties facing a highway or footpath and 2 metres for properties not facing a highway or footpath. Remember that these regulations can vary based on local rules or if your property is within a designated area, such as a Conservation Area or a National Park.

Always ensure to consult your local planning authority, discuss your plans with your neighbours, and obtain necessary permissions when required. Taking these steps will help you achieve a successful fencing project that complies with UK regulations and maintains harmonious relations with your neighbours.