Fencing regulations

Before building any fence, it's best to check if you need any permits.

When a permit is required

Building permits are required for most, but not all fences.

In some circumstances, a planning permit may also be required.

There are different regulations and requirements depending on the location and type of fence.

The Victorian Building Authority article on when a building permit is required indicates what fences and other buildings require or are exempt from requiring a building permit.

Boundary fencing

(Side and rear boundary adjoining another property only)

In most cases the 'normal' height of a boundary paling or colourbond fence is 1.6 - 1.8 metres.

Owners are able to erect a fence up to 2 metres in height without a building permit.

For fencing over 2 metres in height, there are height/length/setback limitations. Contact our building department for specific information.

Front fences

A front fence is defined as a fence that is within 3 metres of the street boundary at the front of the allotment.

Separate provisions apply to fences at intersections (corner fences) - see below.

Any front fence constructed of brick, stone, masonry etc over 1.2 metres high requires a building permit.

A timber or steel frame front fence over 1.5 metres high requires a building permit.

Most front fences over 1.5 metres in height will also require a council consent.

The only exception to this is for fences facing a 'Declared Road'. (Declared Road - freeway or arterial road under the Road Management Act 2004. Use Building Information Request Form to apply for this information). In this case, council consent is required for fences over 2 metres in height.

Height is measured above the footpath level.

Barbed wire must be at least 150 mm back from the street alignment, or at least 2 metres above the street level.

A Street Occupation Permit is required where works are undertaken beyond the property boundary (for example: from footpath or nature strip).

Council consent and report is required for barriers beyond the street alignment for protection of the public during construction.

Corner fences

Any part of a fence located within 9 metres of a point of intersection of street alignments (corner fences) can only be constructed up to 1 metre in height.

Both Council consent and a building permit are required to construct a higher fence.

Council Consent and a building permit

Council consent and a building permit are required for:

  • front fences generally over 1.5 metres high (or 2.0 metres if facing a 'declared road')
  • fences on the corner of 2 streets over 1 metre in height within 9 metres of the intersection of the street boundaries.

Swimming pool and spa fence

A building permit is always required and all fencing must:

  • be a minimum height of 1.2 metres
  • meet specific construction requirements - refer Building Code of Australia Volume 2, Australian Standard 1926.1-2012 

A brochure is available from Customer Service Centres.

Other notes

  • gates, screens, roller doors are included in these fence provisions
  • excavations must be fenced or guarded during construction
  • some Statutory Planning controls apply

Page last updated: Tuesday, 4 February 2020