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Do You Need Planning Permission for a Fence?

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Picket Fencing

This is a common question asked by landlords, tenants, and property owners. And the truth is, you may need planning permission for a fence. But it greatlydepends on the circumstances of your build.

Here’s everything you need to know.

When you need permission

Generally speaking, you will need planning permission if the fence has the potential to impact the general public – or your surrounding neighbours.

One such example is if the fence has the potential to block a neighbour’s view, or cast a large shadow over their property. In these circumstances, the presence of a fence could cause a disturbance

So, if you plan to build a new fence along the front, side, or back of your property, and it may:

•   Be higher than average (for most states and territories, the maximum average fence height is 2m)
•   Impact the vision of a neighbour
•   Impact the vision of an intersection
•  Contain decorative or security features along the top, such as barbed wire, post caps, privacy screens, or louvres

… then you may need to apply for permission to build the new fence.

Consider the boundary lines

Even if your fence design does not feature any of the points listed above, you still may need planning permission.

Why? Because you need to take into account the common boundary line. This is a line that separates the two pieces of land between your own and your neighbours. It is not a physical line that you can see, but one that has been clearly defined in your land title

For this reason, you should either consult your land title, or enlist the help of a fencing expert to help you find the common boundary line. This way, you can 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 planning permission for a fence.

Check 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.

To find out if your property is listed on a heritage register, visit your local state heritage register website

You can do this by going to a search engine. Type in ‘heritage register,’ followed by your relevant state or territory. The first result you see on the search engine results page should guide you to the correct page.z

Consult your local council

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. You will also learn how to apply for planning permission, and what kind of documentation you may need. Plus, you can contact your local council directly via phone or email for further advice.

Alternatively, your local fencing expert could talk to the local council for you, saving you time and hassle.

Need advice on planning permission for your new fence? Contact Dunn & Farrugia, and we’ll be glad to help you out.

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