Planning permission for garden walls

When is planning permission required to construct a garden wall?

Planning permission is required to construct a garden wall in the following situations:

  • if the proposed wall is to be constructed next to a highway used by vehicles (including the footpath of any such highway) and it is to be over 1 metre in height; or

  • if the proposed wall is to be constructed elsewhere (for example, at the rear or at the side of a garden) and the proposed wall is to be over 2 metres in height; or

  • if the right to construct a wall has been overridden by an earlier planning condition; or

  • if the right to construct a wall has been overridden by an “article 4 direction”. An article 4 direction is a restriction made by a Local Planning Authority in accordance with its powers under the Town and County Planning Acts, specifically the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, which restricts development rights which would otherwise be permitted. Those rights which would otherwise be permitted are known as “permitted development rights”; or

  • if there is a listed building on the land or if the proposed wall will fall within the curtilage of a listed building; or

  • if the proposed wall will form a boundary with a neighbouring listing building or its curtilage.

The same rules apply to fences and gates.

If you are unsure whether planning permission is required you should check with your Local Planning Authority as if you carry out unauthorised work you will be breaking the law and may be required to demolish the wall.

Is planning permission required to increase the height of an existing wall?

Planning permission will be required to increase the height of an existing wall if one or more of the situations set out above applies.

Is planning permission required to remove a wall?

Planning permission is not required to take down an existing wall. However, it may be necessary to obtain consent to the removal of the wall if it is situated in a conservation area.

How do I apply for planning permission?

An application for planning permission can be made online via the Planning Portal website. Alternatively it can be made by completing and sending to the Local Planning Authority a paper application form.

Is there anything else I should consider before constructing or removing a wall?

Some times covenants are placed in title documents (deeds) preventing or restricting the construction of walls or requiring a person to maintain a wall. You should, therefore, check that your deeds do not contain any such provisions before carrying out any work.

It is not necessary to obtain building regulation approval to construct a garden wall. However, it is important to ensure that the wall is built and maintained properly so as to ensure that there is no risk that it will damage the property of another or injure a person.

If the wall is a “party fence wall” for the purposes of the Party Walls etc Act 1996 it may be necessary to notify the owner of the neighbouring of any work proposed before it is carried out.