Free UK delivery for all Clara products! Free Norfolk Leisure delivery for orders over £150

Do you need planning permission for a shade sail?

planning permission gardens

Do I need planning permission for my shade sail?

In most instances if you are installing a shade sail on your residential property in the UK then as a general rule you will not require planning permission.  Shade sails are a fairly new concept in the UK and there isn’t any specific guidance but our advice would be to apply common sense and exercise caution if you are at all unsure about how far you can go with your Clara Shade Sail structure!

Smaller Shade Sails

If you are buying one of our smaller sails and just loosely hanging from existing structures or trees using the supplied D rings and rope then it is probably safe to assume that there will no issues with planning as visually and from a space point of view your sail is no different to say a garden parasol or umbrella.

Larger Shade Sails

If you are looking to purchase one of the larger sails and fix as a more permanent structure to walls, buildings, concrete or wooden shade sail poles using hardware fixings like our turnbuckles, carabiners and snaphooks then a bit more caution should be considered. 

For example, if your new structure encroaches onto your neighbour’s property in any way, or leads to water running off onto their garden or property then this could result in some upset and distress between yourself and your neighbour if you are not careful. 

Therefore, when planning your shade sail, always consider where you are positioning and which sides of the sail will be elevated to ensure the water runs off in the right direction.  You don’t want to get complaints or have your neighbour call in the council for a visit because water has puddled over their land or is flowing like a river onto their garden after last nights heavy rain. 

Also consider size and height – our advice would be to keep it proportionate to the space, anything over say 2.5 meters in height or 5-6 meters diameter, might look fine in a very large garden but might begin to offend your neighbours if your garden is part of a small terrace of smaller properties for example.

Other Considerations

It would also make absolute sense to keep your shade sail well away from public highways and pathways.  If you live in a conservation area, a listed building or a leasehold property then your permitted rights may have some exclusion clauses or complications that might need to be considered, particularly if you are securing via fixings to the actual building.  Councils and Leaseholders often have a duty to preserve the original look of a building and so large shade sails secured to the front of a historical building are unlikely to pass muster. 

Business Use of Shade Sails

In terms of business use of our sails, it would again be pertinent to apply the planning rules and regulations for awnings.  We have had many hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs purchase our shade sails and our advice has always been to contact the relevant local authority for required planning questions. Each council will have their own requirements for health and safety so it’s important to ensure that a shade sail like an awning adheres to their requirements.

Other Countries other than UK

Planning Permission will also vary from country to country, countries such as Australia where shade sails have been around for longer, will likely have greater clarity than the UK on what the requirements are.

For more helpful information visit our blog page.


Shade Sail Planning Permission