But can you just go ahead and install gates and railings, or do you need to apply for planning permission?
We’ve taken a closer look at the rules and regulations so you can make an informed choice.
Check the planning regulations
Before you think about a garden upgrade, check the planning portal for information. There are several conditions your gates and railings will need to meet if you want to go ahead without getting planning permission, and this can vary between councils. In general, you will need planning permission in the following situations:
- If you intend to install gates and railings over 2m tall anywhere on your property.
- If you intend to install gates and railings over 1m tall next to a highway or footpath if there’s no precedent in the local area.
- If your plans will modify a property in a conservation area, or the property is listed, or the new boundary will be with a listed building.
- If planning constraints are already in force, for example, an Article 4 Agreement.
The good news is that, in the majority of cases, planning permission is not required. For example, if your new gate or railings don’t exceed 2m in height, or you’re simply replacing like for like, you can start the design process with your supplier.
What about building regs.?
Any supporting structures for your railings and gates will need to conform with current building regulations.
By making sure that these structures are strong enough for the job and in sound condition, you’ll avoid any issues that could result in serious injury to yourself or a member of the public.
It’s unlikely there will be major building work required for the installation of your gates and railings, but if there is this will be the responsibility of your architect or building contractor to advise on.
Check with the neighbours
It’s always a good idea to let your neighbours know when you’re planning to have work done on your property. But there are some instances when it’s more than just a courtesy to let your neighbours know about potential noise and disruption.
If you’re planning to upgrade the railings on the boundary between your two properties, you’ll need to ask for your neighbour’s consent in writing. They’ll have fourteen days to respond to your proposals, and depending on how they respond you’ll be able to go ahead with the work.
- If they agree, you can go ahead with the work exactly as planned. They may even agree to pay towards the costs, though we advise you to create a signed document agreeing on the amount and setting out a payment schedule.
- If your neighbour doesn’t reply to your request, you can still go ahead after waiting for one month and covering all the costs yourself.
- If your neighbour raises any objections, you won’t be able to install railings on the boundary line. However, you can install railings 2m in height that are entirely on your property and paid for by you. You would also be liable to compensate your neighbour for any damage caused during the installation process.
You don’t have to let your neighbour know if you’re installing gates and railings entirely on your own property. However, you have a legal duty to let your neighbour know if the process is likely to affect the party wall between your homes.
For example, if your gates or railings will be installed 3m from their property and you’re likely to dig below the level of the foundations, you need to let them know your plans in writing.
Bespoke gates and railings from Blake & Bull
Our beautiful handcrafted gates and railings are designed, manufactured and installed by our craftsmen on your premises – we are happy to give our opinion if we think you will require planning permission. If you’re looking to enhance the beauty of your home and garden, contact us today to find out more.