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Fences require development approval when they exceed the following criteria:

  • greater than 2.1 metres in height from the finished ground level

  • greater than 1.0 metre in height within 6 metres of an intersection other than where a 4 x 4 metre corner cut-off has already been provided

  • a masonry fence or masonry pillars greater than 1.0 metre in height

  • a swimming pool safety fence

  • a brush fence within 3 metres of a dwelling 

Any fence located in a Heritage Conservation Area or a State or Local Heritage Place will require development approval.

Fences should be regarded as a joint asset between neighbours. Even if your neighbour has not paid for the fence they are still a joint owner. This is because a fence on the boundary is legally considered to be part of the land on each side.

If you intend to install, alter or remove a fence, you must have your neighbour's permission or a court order pursuant to the Fences Act.

It makes sense to talk to your neighbour first. Getting their consent is the quickest and easiest way.

Other Useful Documents and Links

For further information regarding your obligations and rights, contact Legal Service Commission for advice free of charge or visit the below links:

Retaining Walls

retaining wallThe altering of natural ground levels, whether this entails fill placed on top of natural ground level or an excavation below natural ground level, will often require the construction of retaining walls.

A development application will be required if the difference in levels being retained exceeds 1 metre. This includes excavations and filling of land. Generally the person who is undertaking the earthworks is responsible for obtaining development approval.

Other Useful Documents and Links

Further Information

To obtain further information or to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact our office ph (08) 8828 1200 option 3.