Build a gate, fence or wall around your flat

Last updated: 20 March 2019

If you own a flat and want to build, maintain or improve a gate, fence or wall around it, you should first check if you need to apply for planning permission.

Permitted development

You may not have to apply for planning permission if your gate, fence or wall meets the 'permitted development' rules.

If you meet these rules, you will automatically have planning permission.

Under permitted development you can build a gate, wall or fence around your flat as long as:

  • it's not higher than 2 metres
  • it's not higher than 1 metre if it's within 20 metres of a road
  • it's not within the grounds of a listed building

If you already have a gate, fence or wall that's taller than the permitted development height and you want to maintain, improve or change it, you can do this as long as it does not end up even taller.

For example, if you have a 1.2 metre high fence that's within 20 metres of a road, you can replace it with another 1.2 metre fence under permitted development.

You should always check with your council's planning department to see whether you need to apply for planning permission. Even if you meet the permitted development rules, there may be other approvals you'll need to get.

For a more detailed explanation of what's considered a permitted development for a gate, fence or wall outside a flat, read the Scottish Government's Guidance on Householder Permitted Development rights publication and go to section 5.15.

Planning permission

If the gate, fence or wall you want to build is higher than permitted development allows, you have to apply for planning permission.

Find out how to apply for planning permission, or contact your local authority for further information.

Other approvals

You might need other approvals before you can carry out work. For example, you might need approval under the building regulations from the local council.

If you do not own the land on which the development is being carried out (for example, if you're a tenant or the land's in joint ownership), you need to get the landowner's permission.

If you live in a listed building you'll also need to obtain listed building consent.

It's your responsibility to make sure you get any necessary approval.