Do pergolas require planning permission?

Pergolas are a popular garden feature, but if you’re thinking of adding one of these outdoor structures to your property, you may be wondering – do pergolas require planning permission? The rules around pergolas and planning permission can be a bit confusing. Some types of pergolas can be installed without the need to submit plans to your local council, while others require you to obtain consent.

In this post, we’ll explain the planning permission requirements for pergolas in the UK, so you can determine if you’ll need to seek permission before installing one in your outdoor space.


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The planning permission requirements when installing a pergola depend primarily on the size and nature of the structure. Because pergolas are secured to an existing surface, rather than being installed directly into the ground, they can be moved or disassembled easily, which means they typically don’t require planning consent.

But the size of the pergola you choose impacts whether you’ll need planning permission. Specifically, if the pergola is installed within 2 metres of the boundary of your property, the maximum height can be no greater than 2.5 metres (8’2”).

If your proposed pergola exceeds these dimensions, is enclosed with a roof and walls, or is intended as a permanent fixture, then planning consent will likely be needed. This is because it could be viewed as an extension or outbuilding to your property.


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Planning permission may be required if your pergola is going to be installed at the front of your house.

Pergolas are often seen as structures for back gardens, so placing one at the front of your property near the street could be seen as impacting the external appearance of the home. In this case, consent would likely be needed.

When positioning your pergola, keep in mind that the height could potentially impact sight lines for adjacent properties.

While not technically required, speaking with neighbours is advised to avoid any conflicts. Even if the pergola height meets planning rules, neighbours may raise concerns about obscured views so addressing any issues proactively and maintaining positive relations is recommended.

White pergola on patio

Pergola with dining set


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If you live in a conservation area, or if the structure is going to be installed on the side of your house between the house and the boundary, you will likely require planning permission.

Both conservation areas and side spaces between properties are locations where councils want to closely control development, so a pergola would probably need approval first.

Likewise, planning permission will be required if your property is a designated listed building. Any external changes to a listed building require consent, to preserve the historical integrity.

Since adding a pergola would count as an external change, listed building rules would apply.


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Finally, adding a pergola to a veranda, balcony or raised platform may require planning permission due to the increase in height, and because it will need to be built in compliance with Building Regulations.

By adding a pergola on top of an existing platform, you’re essentially raising the overall structure’s height.

This goes beyond the typical pergola limits set by permitted development, which usually restrict height.

Raising the height of an existing structure like a veranda again alters the external appearance, which could necessitate permission.

Lounge Area Pergola by the Water

Browse Our Range of Pergolas

While these guidelines apply across the UK, it’s worth noting that planning rules can vary slightly between local councils. It’s always advisable to check with your own council planning department for specifics in your area. They will be able to confirm if your proposed pergola meets building regulations or requires permission based on its design and placement.

If you need any further advice, we’re here to help. Get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.