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If you are building or replacing a fence, regulations apply to heights, location and the amenity impacts for neighbours, such as overshadowing. In some cases, you may need a building permit. Find out what rules apply to your property.

What is classified as a ‘fence’?

In the building regulations, a fence includes 'a screen or a structure similar to a screen'. This means that regulations also apply to privacy screens, a trellis and trellis extensions to an existing fence.

Do I need a permit for my fence?

In some cases, a building permit will be required, this is generally when the fence has the potential to impact the general public or block essential lines of sight. For example, if the fence runs along a front, side or rear street and is

  • higher than average
  • contains barbed wire
  • may impact vision at an intersection
  • or is more than 2m high.

Even if you don’t need a permit, there are regulations that apply including:

  • Maximum front, side and rear fence heights
  • Fence lengths and setbacks
  • Fences near intersections
  • Fences opposite neighbours’ windows, in particular north-facing windows
  • Fences near neighbours’ outdoor recreational space

Our information sheet on fences outlines the detailed regulations that apply and when a building permit is required.

Fence information sheet (PDF, 155.97KB)

If you want to build a fence that does not fall within the regulations you can apply for a variation through the report and consent process.

Negotiating boundary fences with neighbours

Talking to your neighbours about boundary fencing is essential, however, sometimes it can be challenging if you have different opinions. Fencing disputes with neighbours are a civil matter. Unless the fence is in breach of building regulations, it is not a matter we can help with.

If you are having trouble talking with your neighbours, we recommend the following approach:

  1. Write, explaining the issues
  2. If that is unsuccessful, ask your fencing contractor to issue a ‘fencing notice’ – a legal document that requires a response within 30 days

Other options include:

Request adjoining owner's details for fencing notices


Shared cost Fencing

Shared fence with Council-owned land

Under the Fences Act 1968 and the Fences Amendment Act 2014, Council is liable to pay half the cost of fencing on land joined by a private owner, where the Council side of the land is a Council owned or managed building.

Is all Council-owned land eligible for this scheme?

Unfortunately, no. If the land is used as a public reserve, including any walkways, road reserves, tree reserves, or a public park, Council is exempt from paying half a fence cost. This is because in these situations, Council is not considered to be an ‘owner’ but a custodian or trustee for the public.

If your property borders this type of land, Council is not required to make a contribution towards the cost of a new fence, fence repairs or removal of graffiti.