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Do You Require Planning Permission For Railings?

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Adding metal gates and railings to your property can add style, security, privacy and value, especially if the railings are of the highest quality, complementing the architectural style of your building. With such a huge range of styles to choose from, it has become a lot easier to find the right design for your home, but should you jump ahead with a new set of railings before sparing a thought for planning permission?



The need to be heedful of height

Planning permission is not normally required if you wish to add railings, providing the height of any replacement or alteration maintains the same height as the original boundary. As per the information detailed on the government’s Planning Portal website, planning permission is required if:

  • The railing fronts onto a public highway or footpath and is over 1 metre in height.
  • An existing planning constraint or condition is already in place where your rights to install a gate, fence or railings has been removed (such as an Article 4 agreement).
  • The property is listed or is covered under the curtilage of a listed building
  • The new railings will form a boundary with a listed building.

It’s important to note that for other parts of the property that are away from public space, planning permission is not typically needed where the height is less than 2 metres.


What about building regulations?

An application for building regulation approval is not needed yet it’s essential to ensure the structure used to hang the railing, gate or fence is of adequate strength, and in a sound condition. If you’re unsure, it’s best to carry out an inspection of existing structures to ensure they are suitable for the new railings you would like to install, as any boundary wall that collapses has the potential to cause very serious damage or injury to a member of the public.


Are you planning to upgrade a party wall?

A part wall stands on the land of two or more owners, and it either forms part of a building or doesn’t — such as a garden wall (not wooden fences). Any wall on one owner’s land that is used by other owners (2 or more) to separate buildings is also known as a party wall. If you are in this situation, you have a legal duty (under the Party Walls Act 1996) to make the other owners aware of your intended plans. You must tell your neighbour if you want to:

  • Build on or at the boundary of your two properties
  • Work on an existing party wall or party structure
  • Dig below and near to the foundation level of their property



For the majority of homeowners looking to add railings to their properties, planning permission will not be required, so long as you follow the height requirements as outlined on the government website. That said, this article serves as guidance only, and whilst we’ve tried our best to provide accurate information, it should not be depended on as a valid source of legal information. We recommend all of our customers seek professional advice when completing building works or making structural alternations.