What is a front fence or boundary wall?
A boundary wall is a brick wall, screen or barrier that abuts a street boundary or is located in the primary street setback area (normally anywhere in front of a house) is considered a front fence. This includes fencing and boundary walls on the side boundaries within the street setback area.
What sort of fence can I build?
The Residential Design Codes Clause 5.2.4 specifies the type of fencing permitted in the front setback area. Briefly, the permitted type of fencing is:
• Total height of 1.8m to fence and infill panels
• Maximum 1.2m solid walls
• All boundary walls above 1.2m must be visually permeable above 1.2m in height above natural ground level. Refer example below:
Can I construct a colorbond front fence instead of a boundary wall?
No. Colorbond fencing and fibre cement fencing is not permitted to be located in the front setback area. All colorbond and fibre cement fencing must be located behind the front setback area.
Can I build a solid boundary walls?
Yes, a low front fence built to a maximum height of 1.2m. All fencing above 1.2m in height (to a maximum of 1.8m) must be visually permeable above 1.2m in height above natural ground level.
What does visually permeable mean?
Visually permeable in regard to boundary walls is defined within the Residential Design Codes as In reference to a wall, gate, door or fence that the vertical surface has:
• 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 in width, occupying at least one half of the total surface area in aggregate; or
• a surface offering equal or lesser obstruction to view; as viewed directly from the street.
See below example
These rules will apply to the front boundary fence, not your side yard fence.
Can I build my boundary walls up to my existing driveway?
Generally, all fencing or boundary walls within 1.5m of a driveway (yours or neighbours) is required to be setback a minimum of 1.5m from the driveway unless the fence is a maximum height of 0.75m as per Clause 5.2.5 of the Residential Design Codes.
If I want to build a pool at the front of my house, can I build A solid fence?
Yes, boundary wall up to 1.2m is permitted in the front setback area. However, any higher fencing must comply with Residential Design Codes and be visually permeable where the height of the fence is above 1.2m. You would also need to comply with pool fencing requirements.
See below for typical
Boundary Walls detail
Boundary wall pier detail
Site plan showing boundary walls truncation detail
Do I need development or building approval to build boundary walls?
Development approval is required for a front yard fencing in many councils areas; some councils do not require as long as the fence is fully compliant with Deemed-to-Comply requirements of the Residential Design Codes (refer to State Planning Policy 3.1 - Residential Design Codes).
Development approval is required for front yard fences within all Heritage Protection Areas. Front yard fences require a building permit.
It's advisable to give the council a quick call to discuss your plans before starting they are very accommodating and helpful.
How long does the development application process take for a front fence?
The shire usually has 60 days in which to determine the application or 90 days if the application requires advertising. In a lot of cases, they are approved fairly quick
How long do I have to build my fence?
Development approvals are valid for 2 years. The construction of the fence has to be substantially commenced within 2 years of approval.
What information is required for a Development Application?
Completed Development Application Form • Signed by each owner of the property
2. Development Application Fee - Please refer to the fee schedule to determine the relevant fee.
3. Certificate of Title issued by Landgate in the last six months.
4. Site Plan – one copy – Scale 1:200 showing:
Existing dwelling and other structures
Location of the proposed boundary walls in relation to the lot boundaries Refer to the example at the end of this document.
5. Elevations – one copy – Scale 1:100 showing:
Boundary walls height
front yard fence/boundary walls infill panels
Ground-level Refer to the example at the end of this document.
6. Additional Information (where applicable)
Written justification for variations to Deemed-to-comply requirements of the R-Codes
Materials and colour schedule for properties within the Heritage Protection Area.
Disclaimer: This information is produced by Outscapes in good faith Outscapes accepts no responsibility for any ramifications or repercussions for providing this information. Verification with the original Local Laws, planning schemes and other relevant documents is recommended for detailed references.