Do I Need Planning Permission For A Flagpole?

Posted On: July 4, 2018 Published by | View Comments

Planning to install a flagpole at your smallholding property? Get advice on flagpole planning permission.


If flagpole planning permission is currently be on your agenda, read on - this quick guide was written for you.

Whether it be for a campground, or perhaps even a caravan park...

...as a display of national flair...

...or more practically a highly visible landmark to help your guests find their way...

A flagpole installation can be of great value to your smallholding enterprise.

How Is A Flagpole Treated In UK Planning Permission Law?

Flagpoles are treated as advertisements by UK planning permission law.

As such, the following general conditions apply:

...keep your flagpoles...

  • clean and tidy
  • safe and in good working order
  • under site owner's permission (Highway Agency permission if on highway land)
  • from obscuring official signs (rail, road, waterway, aircraft)

Consent Is Not Needed For The Following Flags & Flagpoles To Be Flown...

These flags are permitted to be flown without consent by definition in the UK:

  1. Any country’s national flag, civil ensign or civil air ensign;
  2. The flag of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the United Nations or any other international organisation of which the United Kingdom is a member;
  3. A flag of any island, county, district, borough, burgh, parish, city, town or village within the United Kingdom;
  4. The flag of the Black Country, East Anglia, Wessex, any Part of Lincolnshire, any Riding of Yorkshire or any historic county within the United Kingdom;
  5. The flag of Saint David;
  6. The flag of Saint Patrick;
  7. The flag of any administrative area within any country outside the United Kingdom;
  8. Any flag of Her Majesty’s forces;
  9. (i) The Armed Forces Day flag.

...as quoted from the UK Government's Plain English Guide To Flying Flags

It is important to note that no additional information is to be added to the flag.

Also, the definition of national flag is also to include the flags of each of the British Isles, i.e. Isle of Wight, for example.

Flagpole Planning Permission: Locations & Dimensions

You are now permitted to fly up to 2 flags on flagpoles within the grounds/curtilage of your smallholding, without planning consent, if the following conditions are met:

...if your flagpole is attached to your smallholding building at the roof...

  • one vertical flagpole,
  • no restrictions on flag size,
  • no restriction on the size of characters or symbols displayed within the flag design,
    • ...except if the building is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, area of special control*, the Broads, conservation area or a National Park (i.e. controlled areas)
      • ...where characters of symbols must be no taller in height than 0.75m (or 0.3 within areas of special control)
  • you may also fly another flag on the grounds (subject to conditions below), but not projecting from the building either on the roof, or elsewhere from the building.

...if your vertical flagpole is projecting from some part of the building other than the roof e.g. the side of the building...

  • only one such projecting flagpole is permitted,
  • the flag itself does not exceed 2 square metres in size,
  • no restrictions on characters or symbol size,
  • [consent is required if your smallholding is within a controlled area e.g. AONB],
  • you may also fly another flag on the grounds (subject to conditions below), but not projecting from the building either on the roof, or elsewhere from the building.

...if your vertical flagpole is to be installed upon the grounds of your smallholding...

  • no restrictions on the size of the flag, but flagpole must not exceed dimensions: 4.6 metres above ground level,
  • [consent is required if your smallholding is within a controlled area],
  • you may fly 2 flags in total on the grounds without consent, but only one from the ground if another is projecting from the building either on the roof, or elsewhere from the building.

...as quoted from the UK Government's Flying Flags Guide

Quick Guide: Installing A Flagpole

Want to know how to install your own flagpole?

The following video by Flag Desk  is a detailed instructional with plenty of useful tips:

UK Flagpole Prices

Should you have permission to install a flagpole at your smallholding, the following price range is indicative of stockists here in the UK:

  • 3m to 6m classic ground based flagpole = £65 - £93 (+ flag: £25)
  • 1.5m t0 3m classic wall mounted flagpole = £40 - £75

...prices as quoted by Flag Pole Express

Take Home Points On Flagpole Planning Permission

  1. Refer to the UK Planning Portal website - in particular the advertising page
  2. The UK Government's document on flying a flag, although reiterated in the portal above
  3. Think about it you are going to get a professional in, or install yourself
  4. Consider your budget for the flag, flagpole and accessories with some online research

Does this article adequately answer your question, "...do I need planning permission for a flagpole?"

Any points to add, or further queries to ask - feel free to say below...

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