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When is a building permit required for a fence?

Building work relating to the construction, installation or extension to a fence requires a building permit unless exempt.
Exemptions apply to a fence (other than a fence forming part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool or spa or fence forming part of an outdoor play space associated with a children’s service) that is:
  • Not exceeding 2m in height
  • Not exceeding 1.5m in height when within 3m of a street (which is not a lane, footway, alley or right of way) alignment and which is not constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material 
  • Not exceeding 1.2m in height when within 3m of a street (which is not a lane, footway, alley or right of way) alignment and which is constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material; and 
  • Not exceeding 1m in height above the footpath when within 9m of a point of intersection of street alignments
  • A chain wire fence surrounding a tennis court
When applying for a building permit for a fence, maximum heights apply and can be discussed with your relevant building surveyor. 

What is considered a fence?

A fence by definition under the Building Regulations 2018 includes 'a screen or a structure similar to a screen'. This means that all the regulations applicable to a fence also apply to privacy screens, a trellis and trellis extensions to existing fences.

Adjoining Boundary Fencing Matters

Property owners are responsible for the construction and maintenance of any adjoining boundary fencing between private properties. Fencing is a civil matter regulated by the Department of Justice and Regulation under the Fences Act 1968 (and amendments).
If you require your neighbour's contact information for the purpose of erecting a boundary fence, you can contact Customer Service Staff at City Assist on (03) 5559 4800. 

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