Do you need planning permission for railings?

Railings are one of the most common features that are added to the front of properties. They add an element of sophistication, which can’t be achieved with a wooden fence and are far easier to maintain than a hedge. However, as a reputable manufacturer of wrought iron railings, we are frequently asked about the rules regarding railings and, more specifically, if planning permission is required. In this article, we will discuss some of the points that you need to take into consideration.

Where will the railing be installed?

The positioning and the height of the railings is the critical point that needs to be considered. The general rule of thumb is that if the railings are to be fitted around the boundary of your property, and that boundary is within three metres from a road, in most cases, you won’t need planning permission. The top of the railings must be no higher than one metre from the ground, and this includes a wall that they are erected on. If it is over this height, you should contact your local council for clarification regarding the rules.

Any railings that are more than two metres from the road can generally be up to two metres in height from the ground, including any walls. However, as this is relatively tall, we would suggest consulting neighbours first to avoid any complaints. Any complaints brought before the council will need to be investigated, so it is best to check first!

When might you need planning permission?

There are some scenarios where you may need to apply for planning permission regardless of the height of the railings. There are always planning complications where listed buildings are concerned, and usually, if you are installing a railing around a listed building, you will need planning permission. Conservation areas can also be a bone of contention, so it is always advisable to speak to local planners to get official confirmation if planning permission is required.

Altering or restoring existing railings

Assuming that you don’t increase the height of the railings, in most cases, you wouldn’t need to apply for planning permission. The only times when you may need to is when it involves either a listed building or in a conservation area. You may be required to find matching parts for listed buildings, which can be challenging if the railings have historical designs. However, at Gates Railings Direct, this is something that we can assist you with.

I would prefer taller railings; can I remove the boundary wall without planning permission?

If you intend to replace a boundary wall with a new run of railings, it is unlikely that you would require planning permission. However, possible restrictions could be in place again if the property is listed or in a conservation area. Checking with local planners is always the best policy rather than taking any chance and needing to take the railings down.


Typically, planning permission is not required when you install railings so long as they stand less than one metre from the ground and are not attached to a listed property or one that is in a conservation area.

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