Fencing

Front Fence

Fencing requirements are regulated by the Victorian Fences Act 1968 and the Fences Amendment Act 2014. These acts contain rules about who pays for a dividing fence, the type of fence to be built, notices that neighbours need to give one another and how to resolve disputes that come up in relation to fencing works.

Further information on your rights and responsibilities can be found at the Dispute Settlement Centre.

*Note: Council is not responsible for enforcing fencing requirements, this page is provided for information only.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

You may need a Planning Permit and/or a Building Permit for the construction of a fence.  Please refer to the below tables for further information.

Planning Permit

A Planning Permit may be required for fences if your property is in the following overlay/zone.  It is recommended you contact the Planning Unit on 03 5232 9400 to determine if a Planning Permit is required

Overlay/Zone Requirement

General Residential Zone (GRZ1); or

Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ1); or

Township Zone (TZ)

A permit is required to construct or extend a front fence within 3 metres of a street if:

  • The fence is associated with one dwelling on:

      - A lot of less than 300 square metres, or

      - A lot of between 300 and 500 square metres if specified in a schedule to this zone, and

  • The fence exceeds the maximum height specified in Clause 54.06-2.

      - Streets in a Road Zone, Category 1 - 2 metres

      - Other streets - 1.5 metres

Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO2)

A permit is required to construct a fence, other than:

  • a post and wire fence that is less than 1.2 metres in height if on the front boundary
  • a post and wire fence that is less than 1.5m in height if on any other boundary.

For the purpose of this clause a post and wire fences includes wire strands, wire mesh (‘ringlock’), chainmesh and similar open rural style fencing.

Heritage Overlay (HO)   Any Fence
Land Subject to Inundation (LSIO)  Any Fence

Building Permit 

A Building Permit is required for fences where the proposed fence is above the allowable height.  The below table indicates if a building permit is required

FENCE

DESCRIPTION

MAXIMUM HEIGHT WITH NO PERMIT

BUILDING PERMIT REQUIRED

Corner fence

Within 9m from the point of intersection of street alignments (refer to example below)

1 metre

Corner fence over 1 metre

Front fence

On a Declared Road

2 metres

Front fence (Declared Road) over 2 metres

Front fence

Lightweight (picket, colorbond, etc)

1.5 metres

Front fence (lightweight) over 1.5 metres

Front fence

Solid (brick, concrete, etc)

1.2 metres

Front fence (solid) over 1.2 metres

Boundary fence

Side or rear boundary

2 metres

Boundary fence over 2 metres

Boundary fence

Within 3m of a street alignment

Must comply with front fence regulations

Security fence

containing barb wire adjacent to a street alignment

Permit required

Tennis court fence

Chain wire Tennis Court Fence

No permit required if within property boundary

Fencing between neighbours

Usually the cost of the fence is divided equally between the adjoining neighbours. A Notice to Fence is a legal document that can be issued by you or a fencing contractor to your neighbour asking them to share the cost or repairs of fencing.

What if I don't know my neighbours?

Council can provide you with details for neighbouring properties.

Please complete the Request attached at the bottom of this page for the adjoining landowners' information form for neighbour’s details.

What if my property adjoins Council land?

Council will contribute half of the cost of the construction and replacement of a standard fence abutting Council-owned properties (e.g. recreation reserves, parks, and other buildings).

Council must be provided with three written quotes and their approval must be obtained prior to any repair and/or replacement of fences. Council will not consider contribution after works are commenced or completed. For more information please download the half cost fencing fact sheet.

Half cost fencing is not available when:

  • Properties are adjacent to road reserves, laneways, walkways and right of ways.
  • Properties are adjacent to particular types of Crown land.
  • Properties are not owned by Council (e.g. freeway reservations and land controlled by VicRoads).

 For further information regarding half cost fencing, please ring Council’s Infrastructure & Leisure Division on 5232 9400 or send an email to inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au.

What happens when fencing disputes arise?

We do not have the authority to intervene in fencing disputes between two privately owned properties unless the fence violates building regulations. The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria can assist in these matters.

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