Planning Geek

Class A – Gates, fences, walls etc.


The GPDO allows you to erect a wall or a fence to a certain height on your property.

  • If adjacent to a highway then you are limited to 1m in height
  • If close to a driveway or junction or it might block the view of anyone using the highway it needs to be lower so that it does not block that view
  • If outside a school it maybe up to 2m as long as it doesn’t block the visibility of the highway users
  • Elsewhere it can be up to 2m in height

You do not enjoy this permitted development right to erect a fence or wall if the property and curtilage is a listed building.

A fence or wall higher than 1m next to a highway or above 2m elsewhere will require planning permission.

The height of the fence is measured from the natural ground level which may be higher or indeed lower than surrounding land. This could result in one neighbour seeing a fence that is higher as it might be built on a retaining wall for example.

Class A could be withdrawn via a restriction on the building usually through a previous planning application or via restrictions in a conservation are

fence or wall

a etc. or the style or construction of the fence or wall might be controlled especially in a conservation area.

A hedge is not a wall or a fence and so within reason this does not have a height restriction. Although it could be classed as a nuisance. 

It is generally accepted that if the wall is set back from the road by a few metres then it is not adjacent to the highway, and can therefore be higher. There is no definition of the required distance. 



Class A – gates, fences, walls etc

Permitted development

A. The erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure.

Development not permitted

A.1 Development is not permitted by Class A if—
(a) the height of any gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed adjacent to a highway used by vehicular traffic would, after the carrying out of the development, exceed—
(i) for a school, 2 metres above ground level, provided that any part of the gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure which is more than 1 metre above ground level does not create an obstruction to the view of persons using the highway as to be likely to cause danger to such persons;
(ii) in any other case, 1 metre above ground level;

(b) the height of any other gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed would exceed 2 metres above ground level;

(c) the height of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure maintained, improved or altered would, as a result of the development, exceed its former height or the height referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) as the height appropriate to it if erected or constructed, whichever is the greater; or

(d) it would involve development within the curtilage of, or to a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure surrounding, a listed building.

Interpretation of Class A

A.2 For the purposes of Class A, “school” includes—
(a) premises which have changed use under Class S or T of Part 3 of this Schedule (changes of use) to become a state-funded school or registered nursery as defined in paragraph X of Part 3; and

(b) a building permitted by Class C of Part 4 of this Schedule (temporary buildings and uses) to be used temporarily as a school, from the date the local planning authority is notified as provided in paragraph C.2(b) of Part 4.


Updated: 18th March 2022

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