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So what is a pergola? It’s a garden structure that can either be joined to your home or can stand free in your garden. These open structures are a little like permanent gazebos.


They’re great because they offer you the same protection and shelter for parties and barbeques without the annoying hassle of trying to install it and then taking it back down and backing it away.


Anyone that’s put up a temporary gazebo knows how time-consuming that can be, which is what I believe is just one example that makes pergolas far superior.


However, if you are thinking about building one there are a few things that need to be considered, and planning permission is one of them.

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Pergola

Pergola Planning


Do You Need Planning Permission


Planning permission can seem like a tricky and confusing thing and searching for, finding, and understanding the information can be even harder.


As a general rule, it’s okay to develop on your own property, but there can be several exemptions to exactly what you can and can’t do.


The most important thing to come to terms with is ‘curtilage.’ Basically this is just knowing the exact boundaries of your property. You will have to ensure that you do not build outside of these boundaries.


On the government website, ‘Planning Portal’ pergolas are not actually listed in the exemptions. Sheds, conservatories, summerhouses, and decks are though.


I would strongly advise going through this website and giving it a read before you start any real planning work.


This website is really good because there is tons of information you can find. The format of the website is very simple and therefore easy to understand.


As stated, any information you could possibly need will be found on this website, but throughout this article, we will go through the main points together.


Although pergolas themselves are not mentioned, and you probably won't need direct planning permission to build them, you will still need to take note of this important phrase:


‘And many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house’

Pergolas would technically fall under this category and so to ensure that you do not need to ask for permission to build it, you’ll have to keep within certain requirements.


Really as long as you use common sense, and are respectful and mindful of your neighbors, you should be okay. Be sure that your build doesn’t affect their views or the sunlight.


Requirements To Follow

Requirements To Follow

Here we will go through the main points that are stated for building within your property. The further away you can be from these set boundaries the better:

  • If it is built within 2m of the property boundary, the absolute maximum height that your pergola can be is 2.5m/8’2inches.

  • If you build further away from the property boundary, the height can be increased to 3m/9’10 inches high.

  • If the roof of the pergola is A-shaped/is a pitched-roof structure the height can be increased to 4m/13inches.

  • If your home is situated in a conservation area and you build your pergola more than 20m from the home and more than 10 square meters you will require planning permission.

  • Building a pergola in your front garden will require planning permission.

  • Pergolas built-in conservation areas, built on the side of the home, or between the house and the boundary will require planning permission.

  • Listed houses always require planning permission.

  • Adding a balcony, veranda, or platform will require planning permission. This is mainly for safety reasons to ensure they are built within the regulations set for them.

Your Local Authority


A little piece of advice we always give before starting a project is to give your local authority a quick call to discuss your intentions.


The reason that we do this is that sometimes different authorities may perceive some of the required guidelines slightly differently from one another.


The last thing that we'd like to see happen is you invest your time and money into something that doesn’t get approved because of a misinterpretation or misunderstanding.


While it may seem like a bit of a hassle to wait on hold, to have to then discuss everything you want to do, and how you plan on doing it, it’d be a lot worse to jump the gun and end up having to destroy all your hard work.


A quick phone call can put your mind at ease and ensure that you are within all the regulations for your specific area.

Final Thoughts


If you are considering upgrading your garden by making it a more enjoyable and relaxing area with the addition of a pergola, you should absolutely go for it.


Some people can be put off knowing that ensuring the requirements are met for planning permission can be stressful and confusing.


But it really doesn’t have to be. The website mentioned above is really easily formatted, so you should have no problem navigating it and finding all the information that you need to be able to progress with your planning.


Throughout this article, we have also gone through all of the main points that you need to follow, and as long as you stick to these you shouldn’t actually need to get planning permission to begin renovating your garden or adding a garden Pergola (be sure to check out our range of natural Wooden Pergolas or and contemporary Metal Pergolas if this is your first visit to our website!).


Of course, you should refer back to the guidelines set out in the planning portal to ensure that you have every point and not just the main ones.


Lastly, I would always recommend that you speak to your local authorities once you have planned out the exact measurements of your pergola and where you plan to build it.


Do this before you actually set to do any of the work because even if you are only slightly over the requirements you will not have the planning permission and you may have to demolish and start over.




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Do You Need Planning Permission For A Pergola?

21 Jun 2022
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