a low wooden hit and miss fence with a curved trellis top behind a garden chair and stool

What are the rules about fence height?

You are ready to build a new fence or replace an old one. There's an important question to ask: "How tall can my fence be?" Don't get caught out by planning officers and local councils. Read on to make sure you know the fencing rules.


The Legalities of Fence Height

The general rule of thumb is that in a property’s back garden, fence panels can be a maximum of 2m high. If you are thinking about front garden fences, restrictions state that fences alongside a driveway can be a maximum of 1m or 3ft.

Generally, you will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect or add to a fence, wall or gate that would be over 1 metre high AND next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway); OR over 2 metres high elsewhere.

However, this is subject to individual restrictions, such as if the boundary adjoins the land of a listed building. Therefore, make sure you check your plot limitations. If you want to build higher than the rule of thumb, check your local planning office rules as in most areas you will need planning permission.


Remember the Neighbours

cartoon image of neighbours shaking hands over fence


Though your neighbours don’t wield the power of the council, it is also wise to consider the impact the height of a fence will have on their garden.

Be aware that the height is calculated from your ground level. If your land sits higher or lower than your neighbour’s land this may have an impact.

If you are erecting a fence where one has not been before, or dramatically changing the height of your boundary, it is common courtesy to let your neighbour know beforehand.


How High Should I Build My Fence?

Now you know how tall your fence can be, you might want to think about how tall it should be. It all depends on the role you want for your fence.


vertical tongue and groove fence panel


For the ultimate in security and privacy, a 6ft fence panel will do the job.


Decorative fence panel with trellis topper


Consider a lower 4ft fence or 5ft fence with a trellis topper for a softer boundary.


wooden fence panel with curved trellis top in front of pretty garden bed


For a front garden, a low 3ft fence will achieve a more open, welcoming frontage to your property.


Decorative Slatted Fence Panels


If privacy isn’t such a concern, open slatted fence panels or part trellis fence panels of any height offer pretty, decorative fencing.


Fallen Fence Panels


Also, bear in mind that the taller the fence, the more vulnerable it can be to harsh winds. Standard 8’ fence posts are designed to support a maximum of 2m/6ft. If you build higher than this you may increase the risk of wind damage.


What to do next...

Whichever height fence you want, as one of the leading suppliers of fencing in the UK, Buy Fencing Direct has a super choice for you. 

Before you erect a fence, check out our Which Fence is My Fence? blog.

Or, if you are ready to start building your fence, why not check out How to Install a Fence Post.