Choosing the right driveway gate for your property needs some careful consideration. A quality wooden gate can add value and change the aesthetics of your property. What sort of gate is right for my property? What do I need to consider when installing a gate?


Planning permission?

Before even thinking about choosing a quality wooden gate for your property just consider planning permission. Most properties will not need planning permission installing a replacing or installing a new gate as long as the following criteria is met:


You will not need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect a new; or alter, maintain, improve or take down* an existing fence, wall or gate if the following conditions are met:

  • in regard to its height: 

         – it is next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway) and it would not exceed one metre in  height (from ground level); or
         – it would not exceed two metres in height (from ground level) if elsewhere; or
         – if an existing fence, wall or gate already exceeds the limits above, that its height would not be increased.

  • no part of the site is a listed building or within the curtilage of a listed building.
  • no part of the fence, wall, gate or any other boundary involved, forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage.
  • the right to put up or alter fences, walls and gates has not been removed by an article four direction or a planning condition

If any of these conditions are not met, you will need to apply for planning permission.

Generally you are not required to get planning permission to take down a existing gate or to alter, improve or maintain an gate (regardless of the height) if you are not going to increase the height. However, if you’re in a conservation area, a listed building, a national park or an area of outstanding National Beauty  you may need to get planning permission to take down a gate. For more information click here.


Space and Driveway aspect

Consider the space that you have for your driveway gate.  Do you have the space for the gate to swing? Would a sliding gate work best or a  uneven spilt e.g.70/30 gate configuration combining car and pedestrian access.

Do you have a sloped driveway? Can the gates swing all the way open?


Manual or automated electric gates?

Pros of Manual Wooden Gate:

  1. Cost-effective: Manual wooden gates are generally less expensive compared to automated gates since they don’t require motors, sensors, or electronic components.
  2. Simplicity: Manual wooden gates are straightforward to operate relying on hinges and latches. They have a simple mechanical design that is easy to understand and maintain.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Since manual wooden gates don’t require electricity to operate, they are more energy-efficient. They do not consume power or require backup batteries, resulting in lower environmental impact.

Cons of Manual Wooden Gate:

  1. Physical Effort: Manual gates require physical effort to open and close, especially if they are large or heavy. This can be inconvenient, particularly for older or physically challenged individuals.
  2. Limited Security Features: Manual gates typically lack advanced security features that automated gates can offer. They do not  have access control systems, keypads, or intercoms, which make it harder to control entry and monitor visitors.
  3. Inconvenience: If you frequently enter or leave your property, manually operating the gate each time can become tiresome and time-consuming. Gates are therefore often left open.  This inconvenience might be mitigated by adding an automatic gate opener to the gate.

Pros of Automated Wooden Gate:

  1. Convenience: Automated wooden gates offer a high level of convenience as they can be opened and closed with the push of a button or through remote control. This feature is especially beneficial for properties with high traffic or frequent use.
  2. Enhanced Security: Automated gates can be equipped with various security features such as keypad access, intercom systems, and video surveillance. These features provide better control over who enters the property and offer enhanced security.
  3. Remote Operation: With automated gates, you can open or close them remotely, allowing you to grant access to visitors even if you are not physically present. This feature is particularly useful for controlling access from a distance.

Cons of Automated Wooden Gate:

  1. Higher Cost: Automated gates are more expensive than manual gates due to the additional components, such as motors, sensors, and control systems. The installation and maintenance costs are also higher.
  2. Power Dependency: Automated gates require a power source, typically electricity, to operate. If there is a power outage, they may not function until power is restored, which can be inconvenient and compromise security.
  3. Regular Maintenance: The electronic components of automated gates require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Motors, sensors, and control systems may need servicing or replacement over time, adding to the overall cost.


It is important to consider your specific needs, budget, and priorities when choosing between a manual wooden gate and an automated wooden gate.

Manual wooden driveway gates automated wooden driveway gates









Privacy & Security

How private do you want your property to be? Do you just want to restrict access but your property to be seen by passers by?

Pros of open design wooden gates:

  1. Transparency: By allowing passers-by to see into your property, these gates create a sense of openness and transparency. They can foster a friendly and welcoming Jubilee driveway gatesatmosphere, as they showcase the exterior of your property and any well-maintained gardens or architectural features.
  2. Safety Awareness: The visibility provided by these gates allows people to observe any suspicious activities or emergencies that may occur on your property. Passers-by can act as extra eyes and alert authorities or you in case of any concerning situations.

Cons of open design wooden :

  1. Lack of Privacy: These gates compromise the privacy of your property, as anyone passing by can see inside. If privacy is a significant concern for you, these gates may not be suitable, especially if your property contains sensitive or valuable assets.
  2. Reduced Security for Valuables: If you have valuable items or assets visible from outside the gate, they may attract unwanted attention or potential theft. The openness of the gate allows potential burglars to assess the value of what is inside your property.
  3. Visual Clutter: Depending on the design and condition of your property, an open design gate can expose any clutter or unsightly areas, affecting the overall appearance. It requires regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure the property always looks presentable.

Pros of fully closed design wooden gates:

  1. Increased Privacy: These gates provide a higher level of privacy by preventing passers-by from seeing inside your property. You can enjoy a greater sense of Made to measure wooden gates - Norfolk Driveway gates - Charltons gatesseclusion and control over who can view your premises.
  2. Security Enhancement: By limiting visibility, these gates reduce the opportunity for potential burglars or intruders to assess the layout, valuable possessions, or security measures of your property. This can act as a deterrent and enhance the overall security of your premises.

Cons of fully closed design wooden gates:

  1. Limited Natural Light: If your gate restricts visibility completely, it may block natural light from reaching the areas near the gate. This can result in darker spaces.
  2. By limiting visibility, these gates reduce the opportunity for potential  suspicious activities or emergencies that may occur on your property to be observed.

Consider your priorities for privacy, security, community interaction and design when choosing a gate for your property. It’s important to strike a balance that aligns with your preferences, the context of your property  and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Maintaining wooden driveway gates

Wooden gates, will need some maintenance. Charltons recommend a modern UV Oil (click here for more details).

A UV oil helps to preserve the colour of the wood, reduce the movement of wood in the seasons and extend the lifespan of the gate.

If you prefer a coloured gate there are a range of coloured  opaque UV wood oils that can suit most tastes.

Benefits of using oil over other treatments is that oil is easy to use.

Automated gates will need to have regular maintenance of the equipment to make sure it is safe and running properly. Always use a reputable qualified installer for automation installation and maintenance. (click here for more details).


Choosing the right driveway gate may seem daunting but a quality wooden gate can add a unique aesthetically pleasing entrance to your property.

Buying a quality wood gate from Charltons you can be assured that the timer is sustainable and ethically sourced and your gate in Made in Britain.

Need Advice? Call our friendly & knowledgeable Sales Specialists on tel: 01373 812521


Choosing the right Driveway Gate - fully closed gate design

Choosing the right Driveway Gate - semi open gate design

Choosing the right Driveway Gate - open gate design