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What is The Legal Height of a Fence Between Neighbours?

When dreaming up your next big home improvement project, the simplest of jobs becomes more complex and possibly more daunting when you hear the words ‘council’ or ‘planning’. From building a summerhouse to installing a gate, extending your kitchen or installing a new fence, there are always going to be rules and regulations to consider, and at times, potential disputes with your neighbours on the horizon. In the UK, we do have to abide by the legislation in place regarding the height of fences between neighbouring properties, but there’s no simple answer – it all depends on your location, the type of home you have and any covenants and restrictions in place.

What are the height restrictions?

In terms of fencing, we can at least give you a rule of thumb. If we take a look at the UK government's planning portal, the maximum height allowed for a garden fence is 2 metres or 6.5 feet. So if you desire a taller fence or would like to add some more character in the way of decorative features, such as a trellis topper, you will need to obtain planning permission from your local council. If you live in a listed building or conversation area, you will also need approval from your council prior to any work being carried out. You also have to keep in mind that you’re not always guaranteed a quick answer. Since the pandemic, local councils have been inundated with requests and we’re still seeing signs that many are way behind schedule with lengthy response times. Essentially, the sooner you start planning, the better.

Another question we’re often asked at Metal Gates Direct is, “Does the same apply to a front garden?” No, the fencing in your front garden should be no more than 1 metre tall (3.2 feet), however, if your property fronts a public highway, road or footpath or is higher than 1 metre, you will need to seek planning permission. We do need to make clear that whilst there are rules and regulations, it’s always going to be best to directly reach out to your local authority before you start any work.

What would happen if I didn't seek planning permission?

As expected, if you were to erect your new fence without adhering to the above regulations, you do risk facing legal action from your local council. This could result in an enforcement notice demanding you to remove your fence or even pay a hefty fine. We know that making improvements to your property can, at times, impact your neighbour, so even if you do have the necessary permission in place, it’s also beneficial to let your neighbours know the work that’s due to be carried out. If, for example, they have any objections to the height of your fence, they can also take legal action against you. So, to avoid any potential legal disputes and financial implications, the best course of action is to check with your local council.

How to prevent disputes with neighbours

Following on from the points above, it’s also considerate to ensure your new fence is not obstructing any access to their property or blocking light from entering their home. A friendly chat to discuss your plans with a cup of tea goes a long way in maintaining good neighbourly relationships. If they’ve already made similar improvements to their home, it’s also worth talking to them about the steps they took, as they may be able to provide advice that’s tailored to your situation. If you feel as though a friendly chat just isn't on the cards, it may be worth having a look at your property deeds, as they will usually outline who is responsible for which fence, and detail any restrictions currently in place. Alternatively, you can also seek advice from a surveyor or conveyancer to help clarify any confusion.

Metal Gates Direct: One of the UK's leading retailers of wrought iron style metal gates, fencing and railings

Here at Metal Gates Direct, we’ve built a solid reputation amongst homeowners, supplying top-notch garden gates and fencing at highly competitive online prices. With hundreds of sizes and design combinations to choose from, we are confident you will find the perfect gate or fencing for your garden. From traditional wrought iron style gates to modern metal fence panels, we have something to suit every taste and budget.

We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding customer service with nationwide delivery direct to your door. Should you require any advice or technical assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0844 804 5577 or send us a message at

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