Fences and boundary disputes are among the most common of neighbourhood issues.  For information and commonly asked questions regarding fences and boundaries, please see the following:

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

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

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

Related information is available in:  Property Information.

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

Front Fences

When building a structure along your property boundary it is important to first work out exactly 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.

Front fences within 3 metres of the front title boundary can be constructed up to 1.2 metres, any higher will require a Report and Consent (BLD0310, BLD0313) and a building permit BLD0335.

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

What is the Road Reserve?

The Road Reserve is the area of land that is 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 really starts.

This area is where the most confusion arises - please view diagram below:

Property boundaries diagram (pdf, 219KB)

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

Do not assume that the property boundary is located:

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

To be certain 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 the construction plans which may assist you in identifying your property boundaries.

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

Side and Boundary Fences

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

Note: Side and boundary fences within 3 metres of the front title boundary can only be 1.5 metres high.

You should discuss the construction of a new boundary fence with your neighbours prior to constructing the fence. 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 greater than Two Metres (2m)

A fence taller than 2 metres can be less than safe for you and others. You will need a Building Permit and a Report and Consent Application Form. You should be aware that you may not be granted dispensation.

If any part of the fence is within 9 metres of the point of intersection of street alignments, it is highly unlikely that you will be granted permission.

Fences at Street Intersections

Corner fences are restricted to max one metre (1m) in height when built within 9m of street alignments. Dispensation may be obtained by completing the BLD0310 application form in addition to your building permit application.

Council Land

For information about fences adjoining Council land, please contact the Engineering department on 9518 3414.

Application Forms

BLD0310 - Report and Consent Application Form

BLD0313 - Land Subject to Flooding - Report and Consent from Council

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Last updated: 07 September 2018