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Do I need Planning Permission for Railings?

18 February 2021

External cast iron railings

External metal railings are a great option to add a little more character and security to the outside of your property. We offer hundreds of railing components within our cast iron store and can also manufacture bespoke railings for longer runs (over 5 metres in length).

As with any significant change to the exterior of your property, it’s always important to double check if there are any particular planning requirements that you need to meet.

Do I need planning permission to install a railing?

In most cases, owners are looking to fit the railings around the boundary of a property. If this runs within 3 metres of a road, then you shouldn’t need planning permission providing the railing is no taller than 1 metre from the ground. Keep in mind this measurement is the total height of the boundary, so if you are fitting wall-top railings, the wall and railings together must be 1 metre tall or lower to avoid planning requirements.

Railings which are installed more than 3 metres from the road can usually be up to 2 metres tall without requiring planning permission (although it is always a good idea to discuss your plans with neighbours before installing them).

There are a few scenarios where it may be necessary to get planning permission for any height of railings:

  • If your property is listed/within the land of a listed building or the railing will form the boundary with the land of a listed building.
  • If your property is located within a conservation area, Article 4 Directions may require you to get planning permission for certain external works.

If in doubt, it is always a good idea to get in touch with the local planning office to double check if permission is required.

Do I need planning permission to alter or restore a railing?

Typically, you don’t need planning permission to restore or alter an existing railing providing you don’t increase its height. The only common exceptions will be if there are specific planning requirements in place such as those within conservation areas or if your property is listed or adjoins a listed building.

Of course, one of the key challenges when restoring older railings is finding replacement parts which match the original. For this reason, we offer a wide range of historic designs for railing heads, railing panels, spindles and back stays. For longer runs (5 metres or longer) which are in poor condition, we can also take mouldings from existing railings and manufacture precise replications.

We’ve also posted some tips on how to maintain your iron railings over time to prevent corrosion and other issues which can damage them.

Do I need planning permission to remove an existing wall or boundary?

Again, in most cases it is not necessary to get planning permission to remove an existing wall or boundary to make room for a new run of railings. The only exceptions will be if your property is listed, adjoins a listed building or is located within an area with special planning requirements, such as a conservation area. Always double check with the planning office before carrying out the work.

If you are interested in having a run of railings installed which are 5 metres or longer in length, get in touch via phone or email or take a look at our gallery. Our team can walk you through the range of design options to ensure your railing meets planning requirements and provides a stunning finished effect.




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