You usually don’t need approval to add or replace fences on your property, as long as the fence meets the Exempt Development code and:
- Is no more than 1.2m high in the front setback area of your property. That includes the street front, and side fences between the footpath and the front of your building.
- Is no more than 1.8m high for fences between the front of your building and the rear boundary.
- Is not on a flood control lot
- Won’t restrict water run-off from your neighbours
- Is not on a property that has constraints or restrictions placed on it, including heritage orders. If you’re not sure whether this applies to you, ask us.
The Dividing Fences Act explains the rules for fences between two or more properties.
Generally the cost of fencing is shared equally between the land owners involved.
Sometimes one neighbour may need to pay more, or all, of the cost of a fence, for example:
- If the fence is to be used to fence a swimming pool. In that case, the swimming pool owner must cover the fence cost.
- If one neighbour wants to add fencing that is more than what’s required under standard rules.
- For properties next to public land, the private land owner has to pay all fencing costs.
Rules for retaining walls that require approval can be found in Section 4.17 of our Development Control Plan (Chapter B1) PDF, 495.85 KB
If you need help understanding what’s required, contact us for development advice.
Retaining wall disputes
Like with fences, Council usually won't get involved in disputes between neighbours about retaining walls unless there is a public safety risk.
If you think a retaining wall is being built incorrectly or without approval, you can report it to us as a Building and Development issue.
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