A building permit is required for a fence, screen or structure similar to a fence which:
- exceeds 1.5 metres in height when within 3 metres of a street alignment (title boundary)
- exceeds 1.2 metres in height when within 3 metres of a street alignment (title boundary) and is constructed of masonry, concrete or the like
- exceeds 1.0 metres in height when within 9 metres of a point of intersection of street alignment (title boundary)
- has barbed wire or the like when adjacent to a street alignment (title boundary)
- forms part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool or a fence forming part of a children’s service outdoor play space
- exceeds 2 metres in height above ground or footpath level in other cases
Front Fence Height
The height of a fence, or part of a fence, that is within 3 metres of the street alignment at the front of that allotment must not exceed a maximum height of 2 metres for a declared road and 1.5 metres in any other case. A declared road means a freeway or an arterial road within the meaning of the Road Management Act 2004.
The maximum height of a fence within 9 metres of a point of intersection of street alignments is 1.0 metre. Note that the street alignment is the front title boundary, not the kerb and channel.
A fence adjacent to a street alignment or public open space must not contain barbed wire or other sharp protrusions unless:
- The fence is setback at least 150mm from the street alignment or public open space
- The barbed wire or other sharp protrusion is at a height of at least 2 metres above the level of the street or public open space
Fence setbacks from side and rear boundaries
A fence exceeding 2 metres in height must be set back from a side or rear boundary not less than the distance specified by the following table:
Fence height at any point
Minimum setback from side or rear boundary at that point
More than 2.0m but not more than 3.6m
More than 3.6m but not more than 6.9m
1m plus an additional distance calculated at the rate of 300mm for every metre of height over 3.6m
More than 6.9m
2m plus an additional distance calculated at the rate of 1 metre for every metre of height over 6.9m.
This requirement does not apply to a fence that complies with the requirements for fences on side and rear boundaries.
Fences on side or rear boundaries
The total length of fences that are more than 2 metres in height and that are constructed on, or within 150 millimetres of, a side or rear boundary of an allotment must not exceed, along the boundary, the greater of the following lengths:
- 10 metres plus 25% of the remaining length of the boundary of the allotment; or
- the length of any wall or carport constructed on an adjoining allotment that is on or within 150 millimetres of the boundary of that allotment and that abuts those fences
A fence constructed within 150 millimetres of a side or rear boundary of an allotment must not exceed:
- an average height of 3 metres
- a maximum height of 3.6 metres along the boundary
If a fence abuts an existing wall it may be constructed to the same height as that wall.
This requirement does not apply to a fence if:
- it is constructed on or within 150mm of a boundary that is a side or rear street alignment;
- it is not more than 2.5 metres in height;
- it is provided to comply with overlooking requirements of Building Regulations 2006, reg 84;
- the part of the fence between 2 metres and 2.5 metres in height has between 20% and 25% of its area open.
Fences and daylight to existing habitable room windows
A fence exceeding a height of 2 metres must be set back from a habitable room window in an existing dwelling on an adjoining allotment to provide for a light court to the window that has a minimum area of 3 square metres and a minimum dimension of 1 metre clear to the sky. The area of the required light court may include land on the adjoining allotment.
A fence with an average height of more than 3 metres opposite a habitable room window in an existing dwelling on an adjoining allotment must be set back from that window at least half the height of the fence if the fence is within a 55degree angle in the horizontal plane about a vertical axis through the centre of the window.
The angle may be swung to not less than 35degree from the plane of the wall containing the window. If the window is above ground floor level, then for the purposes of that sub-regulation, the wall or carport height is to be measured from the floor level of the room containing the window.
Fences and solar access to existing north-facing habitable room windows
The regulation applies if:
- a fence more than 2 metres in height is to be constructed on an allotment
- a north-facing habitable room window or part of a window of an existing dwelling on an adjoining allotment is within 3 metres of a boundary of the allotment on which the fence is to be constructed
- the window is orientated towards the boundary
The proposed fence must be set back from the boundary not less than the distance specified in the following table for a distance of 3 metres from the edge of each side of the window or that part of the window that is within 3 metres of the boundary.
Fence height at any point
Minimum setback from side or rear boundary at that point
3.6 metres or less
More than 3.6 metres but not more than 6.9 metres
1 metres plus an additional distance calculated at the rate of 600 millimetres for every metre of height over 3.6 metres
More than 6.9 metresm
3 metres plus an additional distance calculated at the rate of 1 metre for every metre of height over 6.9 metres
A north facing window is defined as a window with an axis perpendicular to its surface oriented north 20 degrees west to north 30 degrees east.
Fences and overshadowing of recreational private open space
A fence more than 2 metres in height must not reduce the sunlight to a recreational private open space of an existing dwelling on an adjoining allotment to the extent that less than the required minimum area of the recreational private open space has less than 5 hours of sunlight and between 9am and 3pm.
If a fence is to be constructed on an allotment and the existing amount of sunlight to a recreational private open space on an adjoining allotment is less than the amount required as noted in the above paragraph, the amount of sunlight to that area must not be further reduced by the construction of the fence.
In this regulation the required minimum area of a recreational private open space is the lesser of
(a) 75% of the recreational private open space; and (b) 40 square metres with a minimum dimension of 3 metres.
Recreational private open space means any part of private open space on an allotment-
(a) which is-
(i) at the side or rear of an existing dwelling on the allotment; or
(ii) within the front set back of an existing dwelling on the allotment and which is screened for at least 90% of its perimeter by a wall, fence or other barrier that is at least 1.5m high and that has no more than 25% of its area open; and
(b) which is primarily intended for outdoor recreation activities.
Fences next to Wyndham City property
Wyndham City will contribute half the cost of a repair or replacement of a fence abutting a Council property (eg. Parks and Reserves). We will only pay half the cost of a standard 1.95m timber paling fence. If you would like a fence to be more than 1.95m in height or constructed of a material other than timber, you will be responsible for any additional charges.
- Half Cost Fencing does not apply to front or side fences that share the boundary with a nature strip or roadway (eg. Corner allotments).
- If your property is in a newly created Subdivision and abuts a Council property, the Estate Developer is responsible for constructing the initial boundary fence. Please contact the relevant Developer directly for an expected completion timeframe.
If you need to repair or replace a fence abutting a Council property, you must supply Wyndham City with two written quotations for the work. We must approve the repair or replacement of the fence and agree to the cost of the works before any work commences onsite. Under the Fences Act 1968, you cannot make a contribution claim if works have already been completed and no prior notification was given to Wyndham City Council
Application for half cost fencing
If you are applying for half cost fencing you need to download, complete and submit an Application Form for Half Cost Fencing.
You can submit your application in person at Wyndham City Civic Centre, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee VIC or by mail to Wyndham City Council, PO Box 197, Werribee VIC 3030.
For further information about Half Cost Fencing contact the Engineering Services team, phone 9742 0777 or email email@example.com.