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Walls and fences

It is our responsibility as the Highway Authority to maintain walls that support or retain a public road. We look after more than 100 road retaining walls, that are classified as such if:

  • they support the road
  • their retained height is 1.36m or more
  • all of the above and are within 3.66m of the road

Where ownership is unclear further investigation is required to determine responsibility. Where the purpose of a wall is to support private land, responsibility for maintenance is presumed to rest with the person whose property is being supported.

When a privately-owned wall or fence falls into disrepair and it is felt to be a danger to the public, our Building Control Surveyors may serve a notice to carry out repairs under the Dangerous Structures provisions of the Building Act 1984.

Where new development takes place adjacent to a public road and involves a wall that retains the road or retains land next to a road, technical approval must be sought from our Highway Structures Team. Phone 01634 33 33 33 in this instance.


If you are building a driveway, pedestrians need to be able to see your car pulling out of the driveway. For this reason, you should have a visibility-splayed opening of 2 x 2 metres each side of your wall.