If applying for a new fence approval from your local authority, most fence laws and requirements are documented in a local county development plan. Generally, in most states (and many countries), front fences can be built up to 3′ (0.9m) high.
If the surrounding properties have a higher fence it is safe to assume you can build a fence to the same height.
This measurement is taken from the ground level on the higher side of the fence and therefore, does not include retaining walls. There are some exceptions:
One exception to this rule is where you may live in a development where a developer has placed a covent over the height or style of fencing in order to keep a uniform look to the development, or to protect individual owners views or privacy.
Another exemption can occur where your property boundary is shared with a national park or declared fire hazard where the local council may place a restriction on the fence material used in the construction and/or the height of the fence.
Can I build my boundary fence higher then 6′ (1.8m)?
Privacy is a common cause of dispute between neighbors, but privacy is a 2 way thing! If your neighbor can see you in your kitchen from their lounge room, then you can see them in their lounge from your kitchen!
So What Should I Do?
The first thing is to speak with your neighbor. If you are both in agreement you can provide a privacy screen to the top of the fence, or even increase the fence height. If no other neighbors are effected then you can simply proceed.
What If My Neighbor Objects?
If you cannot gain the approval of your neighbor you can lodge a development application for small projects or speak with your local council representative. A development application will allow the council to assess the fence height request and may or may not approve it depending on individual circumstances.
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