Do You Need Planning Permission to Install Decking?

Woman gardening near summerhouse with Gripsure non-slip decking

Making changes to your property can often cause concern, especially when you’re not sure what needs planning permission and what doesn’t. While some modifications are permitted developments that don’t need official permission, what category does decking fall under?

As leading providers of timber and bamboo non-slip decking, the team at Gripsure are here to help you navigate the regulations, understand the application of planning permission relative to your decking, and offer some insight on how to obtain retrospective planning permission.

Find out more about our decking by getting in touch!

Do You Need Planning Permission for Decking?

In many cases decking falls under permitted development, meaning you wouldn’t need to get planning permission to install it. However, depending on the specification of your decking, you this might change. The biggest factors involved here are the height and size of your decking.

In general, a common residential decking probably won’t need planning permission. It’s a perfect choice for:

  • Outdoor parties
  • Barbeques
  • Lounging
  • Dining
  • Using as a decorative feature

Decking is a popular feature for homeowners everywhere. If they planning permission was needed every time someone wanted to install one, the local authorities would probably do nothing except managing applications, so some allowances are typically made.

Where you live is also a factor – permitted development allowances change between houses and flats or maisonettes, so you’ll need to pay attention to what the specific regulations are before you think about installing any decking.

If you find that you need planning permission, you’ll want to get in touch with your local authority to get it sorted. This might be worth doing anyway, since sometimes buildings can have their permitted development rights removed, meaning the normal regulations wouldn’t apply in the same way.

Planning permission is just one part of building regulations around decking – find out more >

How Big can a Deck Be Without Planning Permission?

You’re unlikely to need planning permission for your decking unless it is raised up to 30cm above the ground or if it covers more than 50% of your garden in combination with extensions and outbuildings. That latter measurement is a bit vague, and may change depending on the size of your garden and the subsequent magnitude of the decking you install.

Another factor is the facing – if you want to add decking to your front garden, you’re more likely to require planning permission as it will impact the image of your street and therefore have an effect on other residents.

To determine the height of the decking, measure from the lowest point on the ground to the highest point of the decking. This includes any height added by a slope, which is worth bearing in mind when you’re planning your installation.

Plan your next installation right with a decking quote from us.

What is Retrospective Planning Permission?

While looking for information about planning permission for your decking, you may have come across the term “retrospective planning permission”. This refers to planning permission being granted after modifications are in the construction phase or have already been completed.

Retrospective planning permission is often sought in times when permitted development allowance was assumed incorrectly due to various circumstances, or when local authorities request a planning permission application for property modifications after they’ve begun.

Having to apply for retrospective planning permission doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t comply with normal planning consent – in many cases, factors that occur down the line can impact the level of permission required to install decking and make changes to your property.

Does it have a time limit?

If requested to apply for retrospective planning permission, you’ll want to do it as quickly as possible so that your local authority doesn’t think you’re not complying.

However, if a feature hasn’t been requested to apply for planning permission, then there isn’t any real time limit at all. In fact, the colloquially termed “4-year rule” means that after a feature has been in place for at least four years, it may not need planning permission even if it otherwise would. This isn’t a sure thing, but the logic behind it is that if something hasn’t caused a problem for an extended period of time then there isn’t any real reason not to leave it be.

Can it be refused?

While requests for retrospective planning permission are often accepted, especially in the case of something as innocuous as decking, they can still be rejected. This might occur for a myriad of reasons, such as if the feature is not in-keeping with the visuals of the neighbourhood.

In the event that your retrospective planning permission application is rejected, you will either need to revert the changes to your property or submit an appeal.

However, the chances of needing to submit a planning permission application for your decking are slim, and the chances of it being rejected even more so. Decking is a great addition to any garden, helping you provide a sturdy space to engage in outdoor activities and spend time with your family and friends.

If you’ve already got decking, you might be interested making it non-slip – find out how >

Fit Your Space with Decking from Gripsure

Whether or not your decking needs planning permission, you’ll want something that looks great and goes the distance. With decking from Gripsure you get a beautiful product with a sleek finish, alongside added grip from our non-slip technology that keeps you safe in your new outdoor space.

To get started, check out our collection of decking options or get in touch. Otherwise, feel free to read on with some related articles below!

Keep safe and compliant with our guide to fire-rated decking and cladding materials >

Further your knowledge in our article on what makes decking slippery and how to avoid it >