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 (look for the practice note - PDF document) 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 to 1.8 metres.
Owners are able to erect a fence up to two metres in height without a building permit.
For fencing over two metres in height, there are height/length/setback limitations. Contact our building department for specific information.
A front fence is defined as a fence that is within three metres of the street boundary at the front of the allotment.
Separate provisions apply to fences at intersections (corner fences).
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). 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 millimetres back from the street alignment, or at least two 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 nine metres of a point of intersection of street alignments (corner fences) can only be constructed up to one 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 two streets over one metre in height within nine 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 our 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