Most boundary fences can be built without Council approval providing they comply with the conditions of the State Governments exempt development code and provided the lot is not identified as subject to flood controls, or heritage restrictions.
A fence height of 1800mm is permissible along side and rear boundaries provided the fence structure does not extend in front of the building line. Side fences forward of the building line are to be a maximum of 1200mm. The building line is generally taken to be the front wall of the dwelling facing the street. These fences can be constructed of a variety of materials but a limitation exists for masonry structures. Brick and similar masonry fences are restricted to a maximum height of 1200mm without the consent of Council.
For fences along the front boundary to be classed as an exempt development they are to be of a maximum height of 1200mm high, and are required to be of an open style e.g. pickets; slats or wire mesh, with a minimum spacing of 25mm.
Properties fronting more than one street (corner lots, etc.) may have side and rear boundary fences up to 1800mm as per regular properties which front only one street (A on the diagram below), and solid front fences along the common boundary up to 1200mm (B on the diagram).
The fence which runs parallel to the secondary road may have the fence placed on the boundary at 1800mm for 50% of the length of the boundary which faces the secondary street (C on the diagram).
The remainder of the secondary street boundary and front boundary may be constructed in an open style up to 1200mm high (D on the diagram)
Talk to your neighbour
Replacement of fences between neighbours is a shared cost as set out in the Dividing Fences Act, 1991.
Information about the law on dividing fences and boundary disputes can be found at the NSW Government LawAssist website. LawAssist can help you if:
- you want to build, fix or replace a dividing fence
- you have a disagreement with your neighbour about a dividing fence
- you have a disagreement with your neighbour about where the common boundary between your properties is.
LawAssist has a free call number for legal help 1300 888 529.