Building a fence between neighbours
This matter is under the jurisdiction of the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 . Enquiries may be directed to your local Magistrates Office.
Building a fence on a boundary adjoining land owned by Government authorities
The local, State and Commonwealth Governments are not bound by the Dividing Fences Act, however, Rockhampton Regional Council has a Dividing Fence Contributions Adjoining Council Owned Land Policy. View the Policy on the Policies and Procedures page.
The Queensland Development Code regulates siting requirements for screens and fences. View the General Siting Requirements Information Sheet(PDF, 195KB) for an overview.
Types of fence construction
This is the common type of fencing constructed in the area (timber, corrugated metal sheeting). Owners should be aware of the cyclone wind rating of their property and construct the fence accordingly. If the fence height complies with Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2006 and the Queensland Development Code MP1.1 or MP1.2, then no permit is required for construction of these types of fences.
If the fence height complies with Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2006 and the Queensland Development Code MP1.1 or MP1.2, then no permit is required for construction of these types of fences.
Due to the cyclonic zone of the Council Region, construction must comply with the manufacturer’s specification. Any variation to the specifications should be referred to a structural engineer.
This matter is referred to within Schedule 4, Prescribed requirements for community safety hazards within the Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011 as follows:
- Fencing installed in an urban area that adjoins any road or public land to have warning signs of a size that can be read from a distance of five metres and fixed at five metre intervals along the fence
- Fencing installed in an urban area* must be situated at least 1500mm from the fence located on or within the boundary of the premises OR such that if the fencing is installed on the boundary of the premises the lowest point of the fencing capable of imparting an electric shock when touched is at least 2000mm in height
- Fencing must be installed, operated and maintained in accordance with Australian Standard / NZS 3014:2003
- Fencing for security must be installed, operated and maintained in accordance with Australian Standard /NZS 3016:2002.
* Urban area: defined as property serviced by a town water supply.
This matter is referred to within Schedule 4, Prescribed requirements for community safety hazards within the Subordinate Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environmental Management) 2011 as follows:
- Fencing is not to be installed along a boundary adjoining a public park
- Barbed wire to be used in urban areas only in a security fence within the barbed wire to be more than two metres off the ground.
If the proposed structure exceeds the permitted height, a preliminary approval for relaxation of the Queensland Development Code is required and a permit is required before starting to build.
The following heights apply for fences:
- Between adjoining properties – maximum 2 metres high
- On the boundary fronting a roadway which is not on a corner boundary – maximum 2 metres high
- On the corner boundary facing into the road junction and where the corner is not truncated
- On the truncated (curved) corner boundary facing into the road junction the fence height may be a maximum of 2m high along the truncated section.
Fence constructed on a retaining wall
Design of the structural aspects of the combined wall/fence are to be considered. All aspects of a retaining wall structure are to be within the metes and bounds of the property. A fence may be located on the boundary of the property and is subject to civil law. If the retaining wall is on natural ground and retaining fill then a permit may be required if the combined height of the wall and fence cannot comply with either MP1.1 or 1.2 of the Queensland Development Code – Siting Requirements (i.e. exceeds 2 metres in height).
What if the Fence Height Does Not Comply with the Codes/Regulations?
A permit for relaxation of the regulations (concurrence application) is required to be obtained from the local authority. If approval is granted then a development permit is to be obtained before building work can commence.
Document required to lodge a building application for Fences
- Building Form - 1 Application details
- Building Form - 2 Building work requiring assessment against the Building Act 1975
- If registered builder is nominated and cost of work exceeds $3,300, then a receipt for Qld Building Construction Commission insurance levy
- If an Owner Builder project, then a copy of the Owner Builder Number advice provided by the Qld Building Construction Commission.
- If the value of the work is more than $80,000, then payment of a Portable Long Service Leave (PLSL) is required to be paid at the post office and copy of receipt provided with the application.
Floor Plans (min scale 1:100 – 3 sets)
- Elevation and section plans – full dimensions
- Design details (either engineer specifications and/or manufacturer’s specifications)
- Height of structure above adjacent finished ground level
- Wind category design details/certification.
Site Plan (min scale 1:100 – 3 sets)
- Full outline of property and dimensions
- Location of ALL existing buildings and clearly identify the new building structure
- North point
- Road frontages to be identified
- Easements/covenant areas on the site
- Distance of all buildings from the boundaries
- Location of sewer
- Details of any site works that must be carried out as part of or for the development.
- Contours of the site after cut/fill.