Boundaries, party walls and garden walls

Issues with property boundaries are a civil matter, and we can’t advise you or take action in disputes. Find out more about property boundaries on GOV.UK.

Who owns a boundary

If you’re not sure who owns a boundary, you can search the Land Registry database. They can sometimes provide information about accurate locations of boundaries and who is responsible for maintaining them.

Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act is likely to apply if you are:

  • working on an existing party wall
  • building a structure astride (on top of) or directly next to a boundary
  • excavating below the level of your neighbour’s foundations

You must give notice to your neighbour if you are going to do work on a shared (‘party’) wall. Read an explanatory booklet on the Party Wall Act on GOV.UK.

Garden walls, fences and gates

You don’t need building regulations approval to put up a boundary fence, wall or gate, but you should make sure it is safely built.

The Planning Portal gives advice on how to build and maintain brick and stone walls, as they often collapse and can cause injury or death. You may also want to get expert advice.

You can report a dangerous structure to our Building Control team.

Planning permission for walls, fences or gates

You usually only need to apply for planning permission for a wall, fence or gate if the height of it is going to be:

  • over one metre next to a public road
  • over two metres anywhere else

You won’t need planning permission if you’re replacing or taking down an existing fence, wall or gate – no matter how high. The only exception might be in a conservation area.

Last Modified: 22/03/2023 11:48:30