Lowering ground level behind retaining wall

March 25, 2022 by M K Kelly in forum Planning Forum

#1241 M K Kelly, 25 March 2022, 10:07

Please could anyone point me in the direction of the relevant guidelines for 'lowering' some land in our garden, behind a retaining wall. Lots of reference to a 300mm/30cm limit on 'raising' the ground level, but cannot see for sure if the same limit applies for going the other way?!

#1243 Damian, 25 March 2022, 22:47

In what sense… whether you require Planning?

#1244 M K Kelly, 26 March 2022, 11:31

Yes - exactly that. As before, everything I have found previously refers to limits on 'raising' the ground - by adding earth, or decking, etc. We want to do the opposite and remove a section of earth, broken path etc to take the overall level down - but as yet I have not been able to pinpoint the rules/guidelines/limits for doing so?

#1245 Damian, 26 March 2022, 15:28

Lowering levels which then starts to involve retaining walls would usually be considered development/engineering works and therefore require Planning.

#1246 M K Kelly, 26 March 2022, 16:21

Again, I have yet to see the same in writing? Just to confirm, the section of garden is already behind a retaining wall. I continue to look for confirmation that there is a 30cm limit to go down, as there appears to be one going up!? I've found lots of forum posts suggesting as there will be no increased privacy issues with neighbours (In fact privacy should be improved), there are no other issues to consider. But - in the event of anyone raising the question, I want a definitive answer. Council put their hand out for a fee to answer the question, as is the norm now it seems.

#1247 Damian, 26 March 2022, 23:08


#1307 Paula Gardner, 30 June 2022, 16:46

The adjacent land next to my retaining wall has been developed. The developer has used the wall to backfill his land 0.3m next to the wall but raising to 0.7m next to the house. (4mtr gap)
Council see this as a boundary dispute and not a planning or building control issue.
Is it a UK Gov wide ruling of 30cm or does it only cover England?
Also, as a matter of interest if building control signed off foundation as per the submitted plans and then it is discovered that the FFL were 0.3 & 0.6m higher does this nul in void the building warrant?

#1311 Damian, 3 July 2022, 19:09

The building up of levels is considered as development so would require Planning. The 300mm only refers to raised decking and raised platforms…


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