Balcony and porch collapses typically occur due to lack of upkeep on older balconies or not building the balcony to code. Balcony height requirements exist to protect home and building owners and those who use elevated porches and balconies.
Codes are the laws for building any structure, home addition, porch or balcony. A British wooden balustrade is subject to a variety of standards, not only concerned with planning permission, but also with fitness for purpose, which bring them under British Standards regulations. A balcony that is added to an existing property is regarded as a deck if it is less than 3 metres above ground level and does not need planning permission if it is more than 20 metres away from a road.
British building regulations (known as "Document K") requires balcony railings to be 1100 mm (44 inches) high above the level of the balcony floor. This height requirement applies both to domestic and commercial settings.
If you are adding the balcony to an existing property, your construction will not be automatically subject to an inspection where there is no requirement for planning permission however, you can request an inspection or get a private surveyor to check the finished balcony for conformance to building regulations.