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 fencing-related disputes.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

Yes, you may need a Planning Permit and/or a Building Permit for the construction of a fence.

Planning Permit

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

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.  Please refer to the example at the end of this page for fence heights.





Corner fence

Construction of a fence over 1m in height and within 9m of a point of intersection of street alignments

1 metre

Corner fence over 1 metre

Front fence and Side fences at corner allotments (Light Weight - Picket, Colorbond, Etc.)

Construction of fence over 1.5m in height when within 3m of a street alignment and which is not constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

1.5 metres

Front fence (lightweight) over 1.5 metres

Front fence (Solid - Brick, Concrete, Etc.)

Construction of fence over 1.2m in height when within 3m of a street alignment and which is constructed of masonry, concrete or similar material

1.2 metres

Front fence (solid) over 1.2 metres

Side or RearBoundary Fence (over 2m)

Construction of a side or boundary fence more than 2m high

2 metres

Boundary fence over 2 metres

Barb Wire Fence

A fence adjacent to a street alignment or public open space must not contain barb wire or other sharp protrusions unless

  • the fence is setback at least 150mm from the street alignment or boundary of the public open space; or
  • the barbed wire or other sharp protrusion is at a height of at least 2m above the level of the street or public open space; or
  • the fence is on an allotment that has an area of 2000m2 or more and is used principally for raising livestock
Must meet requirements of Front, Corner, Boundary fences

Must meet requirements of Front, Corner, Boundary fences

Tennis court fence

Construction of a chain wire tennis court fence

No, if contained within the 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 Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 - For Fencing Purposes Only Form(PDF, 284KB) for the adjoining neighbours' 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 some Council-owned properties.

The amendments to the Fences Act have not changed the position that particular types of Crown land are exempted from contributions under the Fences Act. The government may choose to contribute in some circumstances, but this is not required by the Fences Act.

The Fences Act also provides that where a municipal council or other body or person owns or manages land for the purposes of a public park or reserve, then they are not considered to be an ‘owner’ under the Fences Act and so do not have to contribute to fencing works for a dividing fence between that land and privately owned land.

Council must be provided with three written quotes and their approval must be obtained prior to any repair and/or replacement of fences.

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 adjacent to public parks or reserves.
  • 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 Building Maintenance 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.

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


Visit Council's Building & Planning Resources page for building and planning application and registration forms.