Planning any sort of home improvement project is exciting and gives you a chance to transform your home for the better. Many people choose to enhance or improve their current home instead of moving, enabling them to make better use of their existing property.
When it comes to making any sort of change to your property, it can be helpful to understand when you do and don’t need planning permission. Without the proper approval, it is known as a planning breach and could result in having to undo the work. With that in mind, Brett Landscaping explain more about when planning permission is and isn’t required for garden improvements.
Do you need planning permission for patios or driveways?
There are generally no restrictions on covering an area of land with hard surfaces, unless you are planning significant works of embanking or terracing to support a hard surface. So, if you are planning to lay a patio or driveway, you are usually free to do so at your own discretion.
If you live in a listed building, you may need listed building consent, as these types of properties follow slightly different guidelines. If you are planning new access into the front garden across the pavement, you will need permission from the local council in order to drop the kerb accordingly.
What are the planning permission rules for paving your front garden?
Planning permission for paving your front garden can depend on the size. If you are hoping to replace or create a new driveway of any size, there is no planning permission required so long as you are using a permeable surface. This allows water to drain through effectively.
If you are planning to cover a surface more than five square metres, you will need planning permission to lay traditional impermeable paving. It’s important to remember that these guidelines only refer to your front garden.
Are there any planning permission guidelines for trees and hedges?
Many trees are protected by tree preservation orders. It’s important to check with your local council, as you might need consent before you can prune or even fell them. There are additional controls over trees in conservation areas.
You don’t usually need planning permission for the use of hedges, and there are no laws to dictate how high you can grow your hedges. It’s important that you are responsible for looking after any hedges and ensuring they are not a nuisance to anyone else.
What are the rules for fences, gates and walls?
The rules surrounding new fences, gates or walls depend on the height. You don’t need planning permission if you are putting up a fence, wall or gate that is a maximum of 1 metre high next to a highway used by vehicles.
You also don’t need planning permission so long as your fence, gate or wall doesn’t exceed 2 metres anywhere else. It’s also important to note that you don’t need permission as long as the fence, wall or gate isn’t part of a listed building or forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building.
If you live in a conservation area, you might need permission to take down a fence, wall or gate, but otherwise you can put up or take down as you wish.