Gates and Railings - Do You Need Planning Consent?

Fiona Togher, Partner at Hamilton Darcey, provides some guidance around planning permission for the installation of gates and railings.

Gates and railings are usually introduced to a property to improve security or to comply with safety regulations. At Hamilton Darcey LLP, we receive regular enquires for advice on the installation of vehicle barriers and gates (to prevent unauthorised users of car parks), pedestrian guarding (to comply with the recommendations highlighted in a risk assessment) and other access/boundary treatments.

One of the main considerations is whether planning permission and other statutory consents are required before they can be installed or altered.

Planning Consent

The first point to note is that planning conditions and requirements vary between Local Authorities, but the following guidance should give general advice for all buildings:

  • Unless your building is in a conservation area you will not need to apply for planning consent to remove a gate or railings, or to alter or maintain the gate or railings, no matter how high, as long as you don't increase its height.
  • You will need to apply for planning consent to erect or install a gate or railings if they are over one metre high and next to a main road used by vehicles or the footpath of a main road or, if they are over two metres high elsewhere.
  • You will need to apply for planning consent if is a listed building, within the curtilage of a listed building or if the gate/railings forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage.
  • You will need to apply for planning consent to create or alter any form of vehicle access.

Other Consents

In addition to planning consent you may need to comply with Building Regulations.

Part K of the Approved Documents in particular provides advice on protection from falling, collision and impact.

Conclusion

Whilst the above article gives a good guide for planning any gate and railing works, we recommend you always consult with the relevant local authority, as each authority has difference rules on what does and does not require planning consent.

At Hamilton Darcey, we regularly manage this process for our clients, from making initial enquiries to local authorities, to making the applications and managing the process through to receiving consent.

You can contact the Hamilton Darcey team via their website, by calling their London of West Midlands offices or by emailing enquiries@hamiltondarcey.com.