Fencing laws are governed by the Fences Act 1975. In some instances involving the building or removal of fences, residents will need to seek Development Approval from Council for fencing. 

If your questions are not answered below, please call 8366 4200.

Do I need approval to install a fence?

Residents must obtain Development Approval from Council for the following:

  • A fence exceeding 2.1 metres in height (measured from the lower side)
  • A masonry fence exceeding 1 metre in height (including pillar and plinth)
  • A brush fence within 3 metres of a dwelling or other habitable building
  • A fence within the Hills Face Zone, a Historic Conservation Zone, Watercourse Zone, or associated with a Contributory Heritage, Local Heritage or State Heritage Item
  • A retaining wall within the Watercourse Zone
  • A retaining wall providing for a difference in natural or finished ground level on either side of 1 metre or greater at any point
  • Swimming pool safety fencing in conjunction with an application for a pool/spa or where being constructed in relation to a pool/spa approved on or after 1 July 1993.

If Development Approval is required, you will need to read Council's information checklist on fences, complete a Development Application Form, provide plans of the proposed fence, and pay the relevant fees:

Development Application Information

What if my property adjoins Council land?

Council will not contribute towards the costs associated with fencing if the property:

  • Adjoins a walkway
  • Adjoins a reserve over 1 hectare in size
  • Adjoins a drainage reserve, or an area used principally for drainage purposes
  • Adjoins a public road or road reserve

In these cases the resident is fully responsible for the cost of the fence, in line with the Fences Act 1975.

If the above do not apply, Council will contribute 50 per cent towards Good Neighbour Fencing. The resident must provide a written quote for a Good Neighbour Fence to Council, and if it is a valid claim, Council will reimburse the resident for half of the fence cost.

What if there is an easement on my property?

If your property is subject to an easement or encumbrance, you may need the permission of the easement holder prior to commencing fencing work. It is recommended you check your Certificate of Title for any restrictive easements or encumbrances.

Do I need to let my neighbour know about fencing work?

If you are planning fencing or a retaining wall on a shared boundary, you should communicate your plans with your neighbour first. Council strongly encourages collaborative communication between neighbours even in situations when it is not required by law, in order to avoid conflict and maintain positive community relationships.

Fences less than 2.1 metres high on a common property boundary between neighbours are subject to the Fences Act 1975.

Council has no jurisdiction in respect to the Fences Act 1975 and any dealings between neighbours.

If you have any queries about how and when you need to consult with your neighbour about fencing matters, contact the Legal Services Commission on 8111 5555, or read their helpful Fences and the Law booklet:

Fences and the Law