Fences (Fencing)

Fences and boundary disputes are among the most common issues for neighbours. For information and commonly asked questions regarding fences and boundaries, please see Fencing law in Victoria: what are my responsibilities?

The regulations determining whether you need to apply for permits and permission are very specific, so it depends on what work you wish to undertake.

Front Fences
Side and Boundary Fences
Fences at Street Intersections
Council Land
What is the Road Reserve?
How can I make sure I'm building where I should be?
Application Forms

Firstly, check if you need a planning permit. You will always need a planning permit to build on a block of land less than 500m2. Another likely reason for a planning permit is if the property is under a planning overlay.

When building a structure along your property boundary, it is important to know where your boundary is.

People building fences, walls, retaining walls or letter boxes can get their boundary wrong and accidentally build on the road reserve.

If this happens, you will have to remove the structure and rebuild it within your property - a costly exercise. 

If you have further questions about fences and fencing issues, please contact Council on 9518 3555.

Front Fences

Front fences within 3m of the front title boundary must be no higher than permitted under the applicable Planning Zone. Anything higher requires a Report and Consent of Council (BLD0310, BLD0313).

If the property is located on a street intersection, the fence height within 9m of the intersection must be no greater than the Planning Zone specification or 1m, otherwise the Report and Consent of Council is required. 

You may wish to check with Town Planning for Heritage Overlay, Special Building Overlay or Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (pdf, 313KB) restrictions, which may prevent any such construction. To discuss, call 9518 3555.

Side and Boundary Fences

Neighbours share the cost of a standard paling fence (up to a maximum height of 2m). 

Side and boundary fences within 3m of the front title boundary must be no higher than permitted under the applicable Planning Zone. Anything higher requires a Report and Consent of Council (BLD0310, BLD0313).

If the property is located on a street intersection, the fence height within 9m of the intersection must be no greater than the Planning Zone specification or 1m, otherwise the Report and Consent of Council is required.  

You should discuss the construction of a new boundary fence with your neighbours prior to building it. If you do not know the contact details for the owner of the neighbouring property, you can request these details from Council.

Please fill in this form: Property Information Request - Fencing (pdf, 71KB)

For more information on this request, please contact Customer Service on 9518 3555. 

Fences higher than 2 metres (2m)

For a fence higher than 2m, you will need a Building Permit and a Report and Consent Application Form. You should be aware you may not be granted dispensation.

Fences at Street Intersections

Fences within 9m of street intersections must be no higher than the Planning Zone specification or 1m, otherwise the Report and Consent of Council is required. 

Council Land

For information about fences adjoining Council land, please contact the Facilities and Infrastructure department on 9518 3777.

For information about gates adjoining Council land, please contact the Engineering department on 9518 3555.

What is the Road Reserve?

The Road Reserve is the area of land within the boundary of the road.

It includes all footpaths, kerbs, nature strips, and in most cases the land between the footpath and where the boundary of the property starts.

This area is where the most confusion arises. This diagram shows property boundaries: Property boundaries diagram (pdf, 219KB)

How can I make sure I'm building where I should be?

Do not assume the property boundary is located:

  • where the edge of the footpath is
  • where your neighbour has constructed their fence or wall
  • where a previous structure was located

To be sure of where your property boundary is located, have a Check Survey or Site Re-Establishment Survey undertaken by a Licensed Surveyor.

The Licensed Surveyor marks the property boundary with title pegs and provides a plan showing the distances between the property boundary and structures such as footpaths and roadways.

If you have had recent development works on the property, Council may have a copy of construction plans which may help you identify your property boundaries.

Council cannot attend your property to identify property boundaries for you. You will require the services of a Licensed Surveyor.

Application Forms

BLD0310 - Report and Consent Application Form

BLD0313 - Land Subject to Flooding - Report and Consent from Council (pdf, 250KB)

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Last updated: 25 May 2021