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Fencing Laws – everything you need to consider

Monday 8th July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Here’s our overview of the laws relating to fencing - and what you need to be aware of concerning boundary issues.


Nothing drives a rift between neighbours more than a good old-fashioned boundary dispute – well maybe all-night raves, if you are really unlucky.

Location and height of fencing, walls or gates, and the problem of associated overgrowth of trees and hedge, can become a battleground, which is why there are certain laws in place in the UK.

Before you start, it is important to establish which boundary fence you are responsible for. It is usually the right hand side of your property, but it is a good idea to check the deeds, or the local authority should be able to help you with this information. 

Don’t forget the other really important rule when it comes to this issue though!

The best way to avoid falling foul of your neighbours is good communication, so before you even contemplate any changes to the boundaries you share, speak to them about what you intend to do.

Technically, you cannot even apply a coat of stain or preservative to your side of the fencing that is owned by your neighbor, without getting permission in writing from him or her.

Everybody needs good neighbours, so talk to them about exactly what you want to do. Who knows, they may even agree to share the cost of the work, if you get on really well!


So what are the main laws relating to boundaries?

Before we start, remember, we are not legal experts so if you end up in any type of dispute, it is important to seek the appropriate legal advice, but again, before you take any official action, speak to your neighbour to see if you can remedy the situation without resorting to a costly and acrimonious legal battle.

That should really be the very last resort…

Also, it is a good idea to be aware of any restrictions or covenants in place relating to any boundary changes you wish to make. Again, any information about this should be in the deeds of the property.


Do I need formal planning permission to erect fencing or other types of boundary markers?


  • If fencing, walls or gates are above two metres in height, you will need planning permission to erect it. It doesn’t matter if the fence panels are below with trellis on the top. If that trellis takes the height to more than two metres, you must get local authority permission
  • If you live in a listed property, or your home borders one, then you will need local authority permission to carry out any work on the boundary fence
  • Where a proposed fence, gate or wall adjoins a public road, you must seek planning permission if that fencing is higher than one metre.
  • Where the front of properties is open to the public paths and highways, there is likely to be restrictions in place for erecting any kind of fence, or indeed hedge, in this kind of location - so check with the local authority before doing any work


REMEMBER! If you have any doubts or concerns at all, don’t erect fencing or any other kind of boundary marker before checking with the relevant local authority official.


Types of fencing


So, you want to replace your tired, old wooden fencing and your neighbour is fully on board too…but which type to choose?


Fencing is still one of the most popular options for marking the boundary to your property at the rear. It is good quality, yet affordable solution.


 It is also good for security and to stop pets escaping. It tends to be more pleasing in appearance too.


There are three main types of fencing:


  • Lap larch, with its horizontal, over lapping boards, it is one of the most popular fence solutions and particularly suitable for flat surfaces.
  • Featherboard (also known as featheredge) is where the boards run vertically and makes for the ideal solution for sloping and uneven garden surfaces.
  • Decorative fencing is also a very popular choice, combining sections of fence with trellis. With straight or curved lines, there are a whole host of sizes and attractive designs available.


Why choose fencing from Harbron Home Improvements?


Quality, affordable wooden fencing is a specialty of Harbron Home Improvements.

Many customers across Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset have already taken advantage of our flexible and cost effective service.

Whether it’s brand new panels or replacements for old/storm damaged fences, our skilled in-house team will meet your exact requirements. Removing your old fencing can also be arranged.

Pressure treated to extend their lifespan, we also offer an unrivalled 7- 25 year guarantee, depending on the wood grade you choose – and what a choice there is.

Lap larch fence panels, feather edge boards, decorative panels and trellis, we have a whole range of fencing types, as well as different designs, styles and colours.

Key benefits of Harbron fencing solutions:

  • 7-25 year guarantee
  • Full design, groundwork and installation
  • Many sizes, wood grades and colours
  • Ultra-resistant all-weather protected
  • 100% in-house installers.


Enhance your fencing with a host of other landscaping products and services from Harbron Home Improvements

Harbron Home Improvements offers resin bound driveways, patios, pathways, steps, pool surrounds and balconies. Personalise your outdoor space too, with a range of colours and designs.

We also offer more traditional driveway/path surfaces in concrete, block paving, gravel and tarmac. For artificial grass, choose from a whole array of colour options – styles designed for all budgets, but don’t compromise on quality.     

But our services don’t end there. Choose Harbron Home Improvements for:

  • Fencing
  • Timber decking
  • Glass Balustrades
  • Landscaping
  • Groundworks
  • Driveway extensions/repairs.
  • Property maintenance.

To find out more about all these services, visit our website at www.hhigroup.co.uk

Whatever the job, whatever the size, whatever the surface – Harbron Home Improvements is all about giving your property kerb appeal…and helping you to become the envy of your neighbours! We also offer a ten year guarantee on products and labour.