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Do you need planning permission for metal gates or railings?

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This is a question we often get here at SL Wrought Iron, and it’s fairly common with any kind of home alteration. It’s a question that’s well worth asking too, especially since alterations done without planning permission can be (and often are) removed at the local authority’s discretion – and that can be very costly!

Now, the first thing that we should make clear is that due to the variance in each authority’s requirements, planning permission is not something we’re able to specifically advise on here at SL Wrought Iron. So, before you get started choosing your wrought iron gates or railings, here’s what you need to know.

Do I need planning permission?

The honest answer (but slightly frustrating one) is: it depends. You’ll need to check with your local authority, as the rules can vary slightly between different areas. One of the most universal conditions is to check whether your metal gate or railing is likely to encroach in any way upon public land. The requirements for this are notoriously strict – it’s not unknown for local authorities to insist that gates are moved by a matter of mere inches. That can be exceptionally taxing, as it’s not necessarily a quick or cheap job. All the more reason why it’s so crucial to check in advance!

Now, if your railings are fitted around the boundary of your property (as the majority are), and that boundary is within three metres of a road, then it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission – but again, it’s still worth checking!

You are most likely to need planning permission if:

  • Your metal gate or railing is likely to be over 1 metre in height
  • Your new installation borders or adjoins a public highway used for vehicles
  • If you live in a conservation area, or a similar kind of area with specific restrictions for all dwellings within its boundary
  • If you live in a listed building, or your property borders a listed building

How do I get planning permission?

Happily, the process itself is pretty straightforward, although not necessarily speedy. One easy way to start out is by finding your local authority’s contact details on the planning portal. This can guide you to the main website for your authority (such as Lancashire County Council), or give you their contact details. In some cases, it may even be able to provide you with a direct link to local planning requirements, where you may be able to check the information yourself without having to watch your inbox for a few days, or wait in a telephone queue.

It’s also worth noting that the typical planning permission application takes around 8 weeks. In particularly complex or large installations, the timescale can be extended to 13 weeks – but to be honest, gates and railings are very unlikely to fall into that territory.

Once you’ve got all the details ironed out – or had definitive assurance that planning permission isn’t required – then you’re all set to go! And whatever style you’ve envisioned for your home, you can count on us to have a range to match it here at SL Wrought Iron. You can take a look at our full range on our homepage, or if you’re looking for something in particular, you can always contact us on 01254 236994, or, and we’ll be happy to advise!