Building approvals and heights for fences and retaining walls

Depending on the proposed development, a fence and/or retaining wall can be sited:

  • On the common boundary
  • Within your property boundary
  • In accordance with a planning approval or
  • In accordance with a siting discretion approval when the height of the structure/s exceeds 2 metres in height.

A site survey of the property by a professional land surveyor may be required for erecting fences on the boundary if no current survey pegs are evident.

Fences that need a building approval

A permit for building works is required for fences where:

  • the fence is part of a pool fence
  • the fence is over 2 metres in height
  • where the fence is attached to, or located adjacent to a retaining wall requiring approval.

Fence heights on corner allotments

For all corner allotments bounded by two roadside boundaries except those in commercial zones, visibility is required across the street corner.

In this “visibility triangle”, fences, screens, ornamental structures and similar, cannot without approval of the Council, be higher than 1 metre above the natural ground level within the 6 metre by 6 metre three equal chord truncation, in accordance with the provisions of the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

More information can be found at the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Style of fencing required

We do not regulate the style of fencing on residential properties. However, in the interests of the community, we recommend that fencing styles should be designed and constructed to be sympathetic with the character of the area in which they are located. Where possible they should blend with the overall appearance of the streetscape.

Fences no higher than 2m above the surface of natural ground are considered self-assessable development and may be constructed to the property boundary, with no formal approval required.

Retaining walls that need a building approval

A permit for building works is required for retaining walls where:

  • The wall is 1 metre in height and greater above or below natural ground
  • The wall is located within 1.5 metres of a building or structure and the wall supports the structure (including another retaining wall)
  • There is a load imposed above the retaining wall (i.e. driveway, structure or the like)

Please note that other approvals may be required to comply with our planning schemes. Please consult the Plumbing and Drainage branch if retaining walls are proposed to be built over or near council’s infrastructure.

Please consult the Development Compliance branch if a fence is proposed to be built on top of a retaining wall and the overall structure is over 2 metres requiring a siting variation/discretion.

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