Is it a requirement to apply for pergola planning permission UK?

Is it a requirement to apply for pergola planning permission UK?

The last thing you want to do is install a brand new pergola only to find out that you’re in contravention of the local council planning rules.  This is commonly known as a “planning breach” and can result in you having to move the position of your pergola, or in the worst-case scenario remove it altogether. 

It can be a costly and stressful mistake to make, so it’s definitely worth considering the planning requirements before purchasing and installing your pergola. Navigating the world of pergola planning permission England can seem confusing if it’s not something you are familiar with but we’re able to help.

And the question is: “can I build a pergola without council approval UK” You usually won’t need planning permission for a pergola in the UK, however, it’s always best to double-check the requirements before getting started. 

So, in this guide, we’ll explore the question of “do pergolas need planning permission UK”, or whether you can get away with permitted development. 

Related content: What is a pergola and should you buy one? A complete guide…

 3x3m White Pergola outside white house


It’s very rare that you will require planning permission for a pergola installation, however, it’s advisable to double-check to ensure you’re not breaking any rules.  First things first, you should adopt a common-sense approach, and have a good thing about the impact that your pergola could have on the surrounding area. 

Do your neighbours live nearby?

Could your pergola build potentially obstruct any of their views or block their light?

The less impact your pergola installation has on your neighbours, the better. If you push the limits and annoy your neighbours then you might be more likely to run into planning trouble.  You’ll need to consider the following questions to help determine whether or not you need to apply for planning permission:

  • Does the pergola cover more than half the area of your land?
  • Is the pergola on the front of your house or the side of your house?
  • Do you live in a conservation area?
  • Do you live in a listed area? 
  • Is the pergola built on a raised platform such as a balcony or veranda?

    If you can answer no to all of the above questions, then it’s likely that you will not need planning permission for your pergola installation.  However, if the answer is yes then you’ll need to seek more advice from your local council. And it is possible that you can build a pergola without council approval in the UK.



    There are usually height restrictions when it comes to any garden constructions, and your pergola is no different. 

  • If your pergola is within 2 metres of the boundary, then it can be a maximum of 2.5 metres high. 
  • If your pergola is further than 2 metres from the boundary, then it can be a maximum of 3 metres high.
  • If your pergola has a pitched roof (A-shaped) then it can be a maximum of 4 metres high.

  • The main thing to remember is that the further away your pergola is from the property boundary, the less likely it is that you will need to apply for planning permission. 

    Our pergolas are all 2.4 metres high, so they should fall within the permitted height requirements for installation. However, you’ll need to take the height into consideration if you are planning on building your pergola on a raised platform such as decking. 

    Finally, it’s important to remember that the planning permission rules vary across the UK, so you should always refer to your local government rule.

    Find out more about planning permission here

     3x3m White Pergola outside white house with LED lights


    The good news is that most pergola installations won’t require planning permission, and will fall under the Permitted Development Rights:

    Permitted Development rights, grant homeowners the ability to undertake certain types of work without the need to apply for planning permission.

    Permitted Development saves you the time, money and stress involved in applying for planning permission. And if your pergola build complies with the rules of permitted development rights then planning permission will not be needed.  Under the permitted development rights, you can put up a pergola, as long as

  • It doesn’t use up more than 50% of the land surrounding your original house
  • It’s not in front of your house (also known as the principal elevations)
  • Is no higher than four metres high (or three metres if within 2 metres of the boundary with your neighbour).
  • It’s not located on a veranda, balcony or raised platform.

    There are certain areas that have more restricted permitted development rights. If you live in:

  • A Conservation Area
  • A National Park
  • An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • A World Heritage Site or 
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

  • If you are building a pergola in one of the above areas then you will need to check the requirements to ensure that you are not breaking any rules.  Most houses will have permitted development rights which will apply to many projects. However, these rights will not apply to flats, maisonettes, or commercial properties, so you’ll likely need planning permission for these. If in doubt you should contact your local planning authority, and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if you need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.

    Find out more about permitted development here…

     3x3m White Pergola outside white house with side blinds


    So, do pergolas need planning permission? The short answer is probably not!  A pergola can help you create a beautiful Mediterranean outdoor space suitable for the UK. However, it’s important to ensure that you are adhering to any planning requirements that might be in your area. If you don’t do this before installing your pergola you might find yourself having to make costly and stressful adjustments. 

    If you have any queries about the planning process you can get in touch with our team and take a look at the pergolas we have on offer here.