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Fences, gates and garden walls

Building Regulations: General Information

Fences, walls and gates do not require building regulation approval.

Although building regulations do not apply, the structures must be structurally sound and maintained.

A planning consultant may help with the smooth running of your garden project. To find an accurate consultancy quote, explore Studio Charrette's calculators1.


Garden Walls

If the garden wall is classed as a 'party fence wall', and depending on the type of building work you intend to carry out, you must notify the adjoining owner of the work in respect of the Party Walls Act etc 1996. This does not include wooden fences.

Guidance on the Party Walls Act etc 1996 is available on Gov.uk2

Garden and boundary walls should be inspected from time to time to see if any repairs are necessary, or whether a wall needs rebuilding. Such walls are amongst the most common forms of masonry to suffer collapse, and they are unfortunately one of the most common causes of death by falling masonry. Your insurances may not cover you if the wall has been neglected.

Besides the general deterioration and ageing of a masonry wall over the years, walls may be affected by:

  • An increase in wind load or driving rain if a nearby wall is taken down
  • Felling of nearby mature trees or planting of new trees close to the wall
  • Changes leading to greater risk of damage from traffic
  • Alterations, such as additions to the wall or removal of parts of the wall e.g. for a new gateway.


Safe heights for walls of different thicknesses

You are advised to seek expert advice on the safety of any wall which exceeds the height limits given below for your area of the UK. In very sheltered situations and where piers have been used taller walls may be acceptable.

Wall wind map


fences gates walls

1 = 100mm; 2 = 215mm; 3 = 325mm.


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Useful links

Make an application Planning consultancy calculator
    1. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/home-improvement/planning-consultancy-calculator
    2. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). All content © 2024 Planning Portal.

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). All content © 2024 Planning Portal.