Households told to apply for planning permission for garden fences

trellis top fence on driveway
Fences need planning permission in certain circumstances (Image credit: Jacksons Fencing)

Four households in Wales have been told they need to get planning permission for fences because the structures violated planning rules.

Residents of Lliswerry in Newport have been issued with enforcement notices over the height of the fences at the front of their houses.

Regulations state that planning permission is needed if a person wants to build a fence, wall or gate over a metre high next to a road, but many of the residents hit with enforcement notices say they were not aware of these rules.

What has the council told residents?

The council says the fences are “not in keeping with the area” and “worsen visibility” for drivers pulling out of driveways.

“Newport City Council is legally obliged to investigate complaints in relation to breaches of planning regulations and, if necessary, take action including the serving of enforcement notices," a spokesman told the South Wales Argus. “Enforcement notices were served on two properties in the Lliswerry area after complaints about unauthorised fences were received.

“The council then received a large number of complaints about differing types of means of enclosures for the boundaries of properties in the area. Each was investigated but only four were found to be in breach of planning legislation.

“As a result, enforcement notices were served in each case. Formal enforcement action is a last resort when negotiations have failed to resolve the breach of planning control.”

Why do garden fences need planning permission?

Simon Rix, planning consultant at Planix.UK, says it is usually necessary to obtain planning permission for a fence, particularly if it is over a certain height or is being built in a particularly sensitive location.

You will need planning permission if you want to erect a new fence over 2m tall, or 1m tall if it is adjacent to a highway used by vehicles, he explains.

This is because the fence may block the view of anyone using the highway, which is potentially dangerous, he added.

What if planning permission is refused?

The residents must now apply for retrospective planning permission, replace their fence, or appeal the decision.

The council spokesperson added: ““There is an independent appeal process for people who wish to challenge the notice or an application that has been refused.

“Court action is only taken if remedial action is not undertaken by the property owner and the council would be able to recover its costs.”

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.