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With so many properties in the UK being adjacent to or attached to neighbouring houses, privacy is often an issue. Never more so than in outdoor spaces.

Most of us cherish our privacy and would value a garden that isn’t overlooked. But few of us benefit from such seclusion. However, the right garden fencing can give us the privacy we seek while enhancing the aesthetics of our outside spaces.

If you would relish greater privacy, should you install garden fencing and where should you install it? What looks can you achieve and how high should your garden fencing installation be?

Why consider garden fence installation?

There are many reasons why you might be seeking greater privacy. Perhaps your garden is very overlooked by neighbouring properties or maybe it is next to a public footpath. Your boundary with your next door neighbour could be too low or there may be no secluded area of your garden in which to dine, relax in a hot tub or practice yoga.

Of course, you may require fencing to shield your view of your neighbours or their property! Nobody values the perfect view of a rusty old banger or crusty caravan!

It is worth noting that in addition to blocking your garden from view, fencing will also reduce noise pollution, even if the noise concerned is your neighbour’s chit chat.

Whether you are seeking seclusion or simply dislike your neighbours, garden fencing could provide you with a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution to what can be a big problem.

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Do you need planning permission for garden fencing?

Garden fencing is a devolved issue and so the rules regarding fencing vary according to whether your property is in England, Wales or Scotland. However, the regulations in each nation are very similar.

In England, garden fencing is a permitted development if:

  • 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).
  • The fencing would not exceed 2 metres in height (from ground level) if located elsewhere.
  • If an existing fence, wall or gate already exceeds the limits mentioned 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 or gate forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage.
  • The right to put up or alter fences and gates has not been removed by an article four direction or a planning condition.
  • Your property isn’t in a conservation area.

Please note that trellis is treated as fencing under the regulations in all UK nations.

You should also be aware that if you plan to replace fencing or to build a new fence along a shared boundary line between your property and your neighbour’s property, it is likely that both parties will need to agree to the fence installation. 

You may benefit from the right to build a fence but the opinions of your neighbours is an aspect of your project to think about carefully. It is rarely beneficial to upset the people around you. Would your neighbours also relish more privacy, are they concerned about the impact of your fence on their light and do they approve of your choice of fence?

It’s worth discussing your ideas with your neighbours to reach an amicable agreement on how you should proceed. You never know, making compromises could result in your neighbours offering to contribute to the cost of installing your garden fence.

Where should you install garden fencing?

The answer to this question may seem obvious but fencing doesn’t need to be confined to the borders of your property. Indeed, it can be beneficial to keep fences around your borders low while screening a specific area of your garden for privacy.

Before commencing your garden fence and gate installation, it is worth thinking about the impact of your proposed fencing on your light. A high fence might also prove to be a bad idea if you enjoy pleasing views from your garden.

If light is an issue, consider utilising trellising rather than solid fencing as this will provide greater privacy while allowing light to pass through.

If you wish to protect your light or maintain your views, it could be best to retain low boundary fencing. You could then create the privacy you seek by fencing around a specific area of your garden where privacy is paramount such as the site of a garden patio, swimming pool or hot tub. You will gain greater privacy by installing fencing closer to the space you wish to shield rather than relying on your boundary fencing.

You can reduce your garden fence installation cost if you restrict your fencing to where you really need it. Better still, if your fencing is away from your boundary, higher fencing may be permitted.

Size matters but what about style?

If style is as important to you as your privacy, no problem! You have many garden fencing options at your disposal and so you can choose a look that both complements your property and enhances the aesthetics of your outside space.

Venetian and slatted fences are great choices for contemporary homes as are composite and metal fences. You could bring colour into the mix with painted fencing while white fencing will reflect light and create a brighter feel. 

For a more natural feel, install trellising and plant climbers to form a green screen that will also help wildlife.

Should you use garden fence installers?

You might be looking at easy to install garden fencing that you can construct yourself. But it is always worth availing yourself of professional help. Expert garden fence installers could proffer useful advice or suggest ideas that you hadn’t thought of. They may be able to recommend types of fencing that you weren’t aware of or identify pitfalls in your plans that are not immediately obvious.

If you are concerned about the cost of installing garden fencing, consider that getting it right first time could save you a fortune. Using garden fence installers will reduce the chances of any issues arising. You will benefit from stable, long-lasting and stylish fencing that will improve not only your privacy but also the curb appeal of your home.

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