Fences and retaining walls

In our region, building approvals are generally not needed for a proposed front, side or rear boundary fence if the fence meets all of the following requirements:

  1. It is associated with an existing house (or other residential use).
  2. It is less than two metres high.
  3. It is not associated with a swimming pool (swimming pool fences have their own requirements).
  4. It is not part of a retaining wall.
  5. It would not restrict water run-off from adjoining properties.

If your proposed fence does not meet these basic requirements, you may need to submit a building application.

When is building approval required?

Whether or not your proposed fence is associated with a new house or other residential use, a Class 10 building approval is required for the fence if it is higher than two metres above the natural ground level (this may include a combined retaining wall and fence).

Contact us to arrange a building approval for your fence and/or retaining wall.

A building surveyor can help you determine whether there are any possible water run-off impacts.

Boundary fences

The Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011, defines the law relating to constructing and repairing fences that divide adjoining land.

Generally, the owners of adjoining land must equally contribute to the cost of a constructing a dividing fence. Discuss plans with your neighbour, including the type of fence, the cost and how it will be built. Write out the details to formalise the agreement.

Should you need to compel the owner of the next-door property to contribute, you must, before construction begins, give notice in writing.

See neighbourhood dispute resolution for more information and effective ways to mediate a dispute.


Related information

Retaining walls factsheet 70KB