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.
(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.
Further information regarding boundary fencing is available in this fencing quick guide.
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).
A Council consent and report is required for barriers beyond the street alignment for protection of the public during construction.
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
A 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.
- gates, screens, roller doors are included in these fence provisions
- excavations must be fenced or guarded during construction
- some Statutory Planning controls apply