Do driveway gates need planning permission?
In general, the answer is no however, the Government’s online Planning Portal details when you would need to apply for planning permission:
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, then 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
Can gates ever open outwards?
Traditionally, gates open inwards towards a property and can be considered more welcoming. Sliding gates need to have room either side of the gate entrance so you may just not have the room or do not want to pay the more expense installation costs of having an automated gate. If a gate open outwards there is the law to take into account. The Highway Act 1980 governs that gates cannot open outwards onto a public pavement or highway.
Although the law is quite clear regarding opening onto a highway, this doesn’t mean that a gate cannot open outwards. It is possible to locate the gate further up your drive so that it does not create any obstruction when it is fully open. For instance, one reason you might consider having your gates open outward is that they are located on an upwards sloping driveway. You may have a narrowing access which means less room inward opening gates.
Talk to your neighbours
Even if you do not need planning permission to install your driveway gates it is always a good idea to talk to your neighbours about your plans.
If you need to make a planning application, explaining what it is you want to to do can allay any fears and prevent any difficulties arising further down the line.
What If I Decide To Go Ahead Without Planning Permission?
Proceeding without planning permission, if you need it, is always a bad idea. Even if there are no initial complaints, problems can occur several years down the line.
If planning permission was not sought, the local authorities are legally within their rights to ask you to remove the gate. The local planning officer is there to ensure that all regulations are met, and that the character of the local area is protected. If they deem that your gates threaten that they will instruct you to remove them permanently.
If you apply for planning permission and it is denied based on your original plans, it’s possible to re-submit an amended application. Therefore, it’s important to find out why the decision was made and to then amend your proposal accordingly. Correctly done, it is more likely that permission will be granted.