Street fences: front fences

A front fence is a wall, screen or barrier that abuts a street boundary or is located in the front setback area of a residential property.

For further information refer to the front and secondary fence fact sheet.

Planning requirements

The maximum height of a solid front fence is 1.2m as measured from the midpoint of the verge. This height includes the height of any retaining wall.

Any fencing above 1.2m must be ‘visually permeable’. The Residential Design Codes define this as:

  • Continuous vertical or horizontal gaps of 50mm or greater width, occupying not less than one third of the total surface area
  • Continuous vertical or horizontal gaps less than 50mm width, occupying at least one half of the total surface area in aggregate
  • A surface offering equal or lesser obstruction to view

A front fence, including all footings, is to be located wholly within the lot boundaries. Encroachments into the road reserve (eg. verge) are not permitted.

Vehicle sightlines

Front fences must be truncated or be no higher than 750mm within 1.5m of where fences and walls adjoin vehicle access points, where a driveway meets a public street or where two streets intersect (e.g. corner lot). Any fencing above 750mm in these areas must be visually permeable.

Pillars within 1.5m of vehicle access points, or where two streets intersect are permitted to a height of 1.8m, with a maximum dimension of 350mm x 350mm.

Where a front fence does not meet the planning requirements, a development (planning) application can be lodged.

Fees are in accordance with the Planning Services Schedule of Fees.

Building permit requirements

A building permit is required for a fence that is masonry and more than 750mm in height and/or if any part of the fence is more than 0.5m in height and will be used as a retaining wall. A building permit is also required if the fence is constructed of masonry and more than 750mm in height, and if material other than masonry is used and exceeds 1.8m in height.

Fees are in accordance with the Building Services Schedule of Fees.

Structural requirements for a masonry fence

The design of the masonry fence shall meet the requirements of a practising structural engineer.

Swimming pool barrier requirements

In addition to the minimum planning and building requirements, front fences that are to be used as a swimming pool barrier will need to comply with AS1926.1 Swimming pool safety. Refer to swimming pool barriers and approvals for further information.