Do electric gates need planning permission?


Automated gates have become increasingly popular in the UK in the last 10 years, providing convenience, security, and aesthetic appeal to residential and commercial properties. However, before installing electric gates, it is prudent to be aware of the rules and guidelines that govern their use to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Height, noise, weight, and planning considerations:

How tall can you go?

When installing electric gates, it is crucial to consider the height to ensure they don’t obstruct pedestrians or vehicles, nor pose a safety hazard. In general, gates should be no higher than two metres to maintain visibility and prevent potential accidents. However, if the gate is located near a road or a public footpath, it should not exceed one metre in height.


Electric gates often make a noise whilst in operation, which can impact the surrounding environment, especially in residential areas. To minimise noise-related disturbances, it is recommended to choose gates designed for private use with quiet motors and moving parts. If a gate generates excessive noise, local authorities may request that additional noise reduction measures are implemented, such as soundproofing materials or time restrictions during certain hours, particularly at night.

Weighted in your favour

Weight is an important factor as heavier gates may require additional structural support and engineering considerations. It is crucial that the gate’s weight is adequately supported by the pillars or posts on which it is mounted. Consulting a structural engineer or a professional gate installer is advisable to determine the necessary support required for the gate’s weight.

Planning applications:

In the UK, the installation of electric gates may require planning permission, depending on various factors, including the property’s location, type, and any existing regulations or restrictions. It is essential to consult with the local planning authority or a professional installer to determine whether an application should be submitted.

Permitted Development Rights

In most cases, electric gates can be installed without the need for planning permission thanks to permitted development rights. However, there are certain limitations and conditions that must still be met. For instance, the gates should not exceed a certain height, usually two metres, and they should not open directly onto a public road or cause a hazard by swinging onto a public pavement. It is crucial to review the specific permitted development rights applicable to the property to ensure compliance.

Heritage sites

Properties located within heritage sites or conservation areas may have additional restrictions regarding the installation of electric gates. These areas often require the preservation of the historic or architectural character, which may influence the design and materials used for the gates. It is advisable to consult with the local planning authority or a conservation officer for specific guidelines and requirements.

Before installing electric gates, take time to read all the guidelines and understand the limits on height, noise, weight, and any planning permission requirements.

Our team of experts is on hand to assist with any queries and happy to help with submitting planning applications, where required. Providing accurate information tailored to the specific property along with professional technical drawings greatly aids the planning process and can improve the success of the grant. We are highly experienced at dealing with such applications and look forward to assisting with yours.