Reference point for measurement of fence height

22 Dec 2005
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United Kingdom
I'm looking at replacing the fence that runs around the two sides of our garden that abuts the roads.

The existing fence is 3ft high. Immediately behind that fence the ground slopes upwards by about 3 ft. This means that the in reality the fence gives no privacy to the house or garden.

I want to increase the fence height, ideally to 8ft, for which i would need planning permission.

But what is the reference point for the fence height measurement? Is it the base of the fence post?

The angle of the rise of the ground behind the fence is around 45 degrees. So the nonsense of is if i was to set the fence back 3ft and put in a 3ft fence i'd end up with a fence that is 6ft above the pavement but because i don't know where the reference point for the height measurement is i don't know if this would be permitted without planning.
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Planning permission will be required if the fence is higher than 1m measured from the higher ground level, and within 1m of the path or boundary
I understand it to be measured from the ground level immediately next to the fence. So nowhere should you have a ground-top of fence height that exceeds the PD limits. How else could a fence be measured?

I can understand your pain but PD cannot cater for every eventuality.

You could just build it and be done with it. If the planners wished to they could write to you and threaten legal action. It would be hard to imagine a council doing anything more than write threatening letters though for a fence. True such an infringements would show up on any search a future buyer did but if that doesn't bother you fill yer boots. In 4 years you would be immune from any prosecution anyway.

Alternatively you could do some simple drawings yourself and apply for planning permission.
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I spoke to the duty planning office today.

Their suggestion is that i take a couple of photos of the location and send a letter in to them explaining the situation. They will then be able to decide whether what i want to do demands planning permission or not and the likelihood of success of my plan.

The planning officer freely admitted that the planning rules don't cover every eventuality and the circumstances i describe fall firmly into the 'grey area' category.

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