Do I need planning permission to build a fence?

One of the most common questions asked by landlords, tenants, and property owners is if planning permission is needed for a fence. The overall answer is usually you do need planning permission but that greatly depends on the circumstances of your build. It is always essential to check your building regulations for all types of fences including barbed wire fences, spa fences, a front fence and other types of fence design before starting your project.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

Yes, generally speaking, you will need planning permission for a fence if it has the potential to impact the general public or your surrounding neighbours.

If your fence would cause someone else's disturbance it may need a permit.

There are some things that should be taken into consideration including the property boundary line. A boundary line is a line that separates the two pieces of land between your own and your neighbouring property. This is not a physical line, but one that can be clearly defined in your property boundaries. For this reason, it is best to either consult your land title or enlist the help of a fencing contractor to help you find the common boundary line. This will help determine if it is possible to build a fence along the boundary line; which means, as long as you meet the other criteria you won't have to apply for a planning permit for a boundary fence.

Another thing to consider is if your property is on the heritage register. Depending on the age and cultural significance of your property, your property may be listed on a heritage register. The heritage register is a list of properties and sites that have been deemed culturally significant to the local community. As a result of this recognition, properties listed on the heritage register are subject to more strict rules and guidelines when it comes to modifying such properties.

It is best to find out if your property is listed on the heritage register before commencing any building work including new boundary fences


When do I need permission?

It is likely that you will need to obtain a permit if your fence meets the following criteria:
  • Swimming pool fence
  • If the height of the fence exceeds 2 meters or the maximum height
  • If the fence is on a heritage-listed property
  • It has the potential to obstruct views of traffic
  • A tree permit may be required if you need to prune or remove a significant tree during your new fence works.

Most areas have similar rules; however, it is always best to check with your local council to clarify the laws for your particular location.


Consequences of Building a fence without Permission

If a permit is required, you can receive a Stop Work order until a permit has been processed and issued. A fine could also be issued to the individual due to not getting or being approved for a building permit.


How to apply for a building permit

If you have determined that you need a building permit for your new fence, you can apply online or in writing at your local council. It is always best to check the application process from your local council as it could slightly differ depending on your state.


Make sure your check local council rules

Still unsure if your fence meets council requirements? Visit your local council website for more information.

There you can receive advice and information relevant to your local area. Information on the application process can also be found as the application process could differ depending on your local area.

Otherwise, contact your local council over the phone or email for further advice.

Find a construction contractor to help you build your fence with iseekplant. Search our marketplace and find the best contractor for your job. Use our Get a Quote Tool today to help you decide.