Replace or build a new front fence

You may need a Planning Permit, a Building Permit or both to replace or build a front fence.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also need a:

  • Tree Works Permit
  • Road or Footpath Occupancy Permit
  • Vehicular Crossing Permit
  • Asset Protection Permit
  • Memorandum of Authorisation (VicRoads)

How to use this guide

To help you work out which permits you need, begin at Step 1 and answer the questions one at a time . You may be asked to look at your zone, the number of dwellings on the property and the fence's height and materials.

If you are building a side or rear fence, see Replace or build a side or rear fence.

Before you begin

Before finalising your design:

If you are replacing a fence you may need a Planning or Building Permit for the demolition of the existing fence. To determine which permits you need for demolition, see Demolish all or part of a building.

If you need help with Planning Permits, contact our Statutory Planning team on 9278 4888 or email Statutory Planning.

If you need help with Building Permits, contact our Building Services team on 9278 4999 or email Building Services.

Check if the work is routine repair and maintenance

Consider whether you will be replacing or building an entire front fence, or whether you will be repairing a small piece of fencing material to keep the structure in good condition.

For example, replacing some damaged pickets is regarded as routine repair and maintenance.

If you are unsure whether your works are considered routine repair and maintenance, contact Statutory Planning.

Is the work routine repair and maintenance?

 

 

Check if the fence will be built in a Heritage overlay

  1. Visit Planning Maps Online and search for the address of your property. The Planning Maps Online page displays a map of the property.
  2. Select Get Report. Follow the prompts to create and open a Planning Property Report.
  3. Read the report to see whether the part of the site where you will build the fence is in a Heritage Overlay,

Are you planning to build the fence in a Heritage Overlay?

 

 

 

Check if your property is on the Victorian Heritage Register

  1. Refer to the report from Planning Maps Online.
  2. Look for the Heritage Overlay Schedule link and take note of the schedule number.
  3. Click the Heritage Overlay Schedule link. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay page appears.
  4. Find your schedule number. See whether the 'Included on the Victorian Heritage Register' column displays 'Yes' for your schedule number.

If the property is on the Victorian Heritage Register:

  • You may need approval from Heritage Victoria for or any buildings and works including internal changes. Contact Heritage Victoria for advice on how to apply for their approval.
  • You may continue to apply for other permits while your Heritage Victoria application is being assessed. But you can only begin construction after all necessary approvals and permits are granted.

Is your property listed on the Victorian Heritage Register?

Check if the fence will be built in an Environmental Significance Overlay

Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online to see whether the land on which you plan to build the fence is in an Environmental Significance Overlay.

If so, consider the materials out of which the fence will be built. Unless the fence is post and wire, you will need Planning permission.

Are you planning to build a fence in an Environmental Significance Overlay out of materials other than post and wire?

 

 

 

 

Check if the fence will be built in a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay

Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online to see whether the land on which you plan to build the fence is in Land Subject to Inundation Overlay.

If so, consider the materials out of which the fence will be built. Unless the fence is post and wire, or post and rail, you will need Planning permission.

Are you planning to build a fence in a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay out of materials other than post and wire or post and rail?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Check if the fence is on common property or a property with more than one dwelling

Consider whether your front fence will be built either on property with more than one dwelling or a property in a common area.

Are you building a front fence on a property that has multiple dwellings or is in a common area?

 

 

 

 

Compare declared road status and fence height

Before building a front fence on property that has multiple dwellings or is in a common area, you need to be aware of whether the fence will face a declared road.

  1. Go to the VicRoads website.
  2. Locate the multi-dwelling or common property on the Map of Declared Roads:
  • If the property faces a declared road, you need planning permission to build a front fence that exceeds 2m in height. You also need to apply to VicRoads for a Memorandum of Authorisation.
  • If the property does not face a declared road, you need planning permission to build a front fence that exceeds 1.5m in height.

Do I need planning permission to build a fence on a property that has multiple dwellings or is in a common area?

 

 

 

 

Check if the property is in a Residential Zone

Look at the report from  Planning Maps Online to see if your property is located n a Residential Zone.

Will your fence be located on a property within a Residential Zone?

 

 

 

 

Check the height of a fence in a residential lot under 500sqm

Refer to the Certificate of Title (available from the Landata website) and calculate the area of the lot using the title boundary dimensions.

See whether the area is under 500sqm. If it is, you need planning permission when the height of your fence exceeds:

  • 2m on a declared road, as listed on the VicRoads website
  • 1.5m anywhere else

Are you building a fence that requires planning permission on a residential lot under 500sqm?

 

 

 

 

Check for other overlays that may impact your works

Refer to the map from Planning Maps Online. See whether you are planning to build the fence in any of the following:

  • Special Building Overlay
  • Significant Landscape Overlay
  • Design and Development Overlay Schedule Number 31

If so, contact our Statutory Planning team on 9278 4888 to determine whether you need a Planning Permit for your works.

Are you planning to build a fence in an overlay that requires Planning permission?

 

 

 

 

 

Apply for a Planning Permit, if needed

If you have determined that you need a Planning Permit for your project:

  1. Provide a clear copy of your Certificate of Title, including the lot plan. You can get this from the Landata website. The Certificate of Title must be no more than 28 days' old.
  2. Write a cover letter explaining your proposal.
  3. Prepare a plan drawn to scale (1:100 or 1:200) with full dimensions. The plan must show the site, floor layout and elevations.
  4. Complete the Planning Permit application form and lodge the form, fee and supporting documents with Council. 
    To download the form and submit the application, see Apply for a Planning Permit.
    If you need a permit to demolish an existing fence, the Planning Permit application you submit can be for both the demolition of the existing fence and the construction of a new fence.
  5. Lodge the form, application fee and supporting documents with Council.
  6. Now, check whether you need a Building Permit.

VicSmart eligibility

A Planning Permit application for a front fence is eligible to be assessed as a VicSmart application if your land is affected by any of the following:

  • Residential Zone (if associated with one dwelling)
  • Environmental Significance Overlay
  • Significant Landscape Overlay
  • Heritage Overlay
  • Design and Development Overlay (including Design and Development Overlay Schedule 31)
  • Special Building Overlay (special conditions apply).

Application fees

For non-VicSmart applications:

Cost of development Fee
Less than $10,000 $199.90
$10,000 to $100,000 $629.40

For VicSmart applications:

Cost of development Fee
$10,000 or less $199.90
More than $10,000 $429.50

Check whether the fence could obstruct the view of traffic

Refer to your plans to determine the height and location of the front fence.

A front fence obstructs the view of traffic if it is

  • on a street corner (including where a lane and a street intersect)
  • higher than 1m from the footpath level, and
  • within 9m of the intersection of front and side title boundaries.
Front Fence on a Corner

In this diagram, Section 1 indicates the parts of the fence that could obstruct views of traffic when fencing is higher than 1m from the footpath level. Section 2 indicates the parts of the fence unaffected by this height restriction

    Could the height and location of the front fence make it a possible obstruction to views of traffic?

    Check the height of masonry fencing

    Consider whether any part of your front fence will be constructed from masonry (brick, concrete or stone). This includes fences that are masonry only, as well as fences that contain some masonry components.

    Measure the height of the masonry fencing from the top of the fence to natural ground level.

    Masonry fencing that is 1.2m or higher requires a Building Permit.

    Measuring the height of a masonry fence

    Will your project include masonry fencing that is 1.2m or higher?

     

     

     

     

    Check the height of lightweight fencing

    'Lightweight' fencing is any fencing not constructed from masonry. Lightweight fencing includes timber, colourbond or metal.

    Measure the height from the top of the fence to natural ground level. Lightweight fencing that is 1.5m or higher requires a Building Permit.

    Measuring the height of a lightweight fence

    Will your project include lightweight fencing that is 1.5m or higher?

    Check whether masonry or lightweight fencing requires Report and Consent

    The front fence materials and height and the property's declared road status all impact whether you will need Report and Consent for your project.

    1. Go to the VicRoads website.
    2. Locate your property on the Map of Declared Roads to see whether the front fence will face a declared road.
    3. Use the following tables to see whether you need Report and Consent.

    For masonry (brick, concrete or stone) fencing:

    Fence height

    Is the front fence on a declared road?

    Do I need Report and Consent?

    From 1.2m to 1.5m

    No

    No

    Yes

    No

    From 1.5m to 2m

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    2m or more

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    For lightweight (non-masonry) fencing:

    Fence height

    Is the front fence on a declared road?

    Do I need Report and Consent?

    From 1.5m to 2m

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    2m or more

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Does your front fence require Report and Consent?

     

     

     

     

     

    Apply for a Building Permit, if needed

    1. Read the Building Permit application checklist to determine which supporting documents you need for your circumstances. If you are unsure what you need, contact the Building Services team on 9278 4999 or email Building Services.
    2. If relevant, apply for Report and Consent. Contact the Building Services Team if you are unsure whether you need Report and Consent for your project.
    3. Complete the Application for a Building Permit.
    4. Lodge the Building Permit application form, fee and supporting documents with Council. For fee information, email Building Services.

    You may lodge the application for a Building Permit while other permit applications are still being processed, but may only begin construction when all required permits and approvals are granted.

    See whether there are any other permits you need for your project.

     

     

     

     

    See whether you need to apply for any other permits

    Consider whether you need to apply for other permits for your works.

    If you need to:

    If your works could:

    After all permits have been granted, you may begin construction.

    You may exit the guide.