Build a gate, fence or wall around your house

Last updated: 20 March 2019

If you want to build, maintain or improve a gate, fence or wall around your house, you should first check to see 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 your gate, wall or fence can be up to 2 metres in height, as long as:

  • it's not facing a road
  • it does not come any further forward than the 'principal elevation' (the front of your house) or the side elevation (the side of your house)
  • it's not within or on the boundary of the grounds of a listed building
  • your house is not within a conservation area

If it does not meet these rules, then it may still qualify for permitted development as long as it's no higher than 1 metre, and not within a conservation area or in 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 replace it, you can do this as long as the replacement is no higher, and you do not live in a conservation area or listed building.

For example, if you have a 2.5 metre high fence, you can replace it with another 2.5 metre high 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 around a house, read the Scottish Government's Guidance on Householder Permitted Development rights publication and go to section 4.116.

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.