Fences (and gates)

rural fence

There are some restrictions about the type of fencing you can construct on your property. This is determined by land zoning.

Do I need approval?

You will not need approval if the fence or gate meets all of the relevant development standards for exempt development.

Some properties have restrictions on the type of fencing in the 88B Instrument. The 88B instrument is owned by NSW Land Registry Services (LRS). Should you wish to obtain a copy of your 88B instrument the LRS have a list of Authorised Information Brokers.

Specific information about fences and gates can be accessed here:

You can check the zoning information for your property using the NSW Spatial Viewer.

Please review Exempt Development to see if your proposal qualifies.

If the proposal doesn't qualify as an Exempt Development, you may need to apply for a Complying Development Certificate or a Development Application.

Do I qualify for a Complying Development Certificate?

Complying Development Certificate may be issued for your fence for land zoned Zone R1, R2, R3, R4 or RU5, if the proposal meets all of the relevant development standards. 

You can use the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Part 3, Division 4, Subdivision 4, Clause 3.29 to check whether your proposal is a complying development. The individual clause should be read in conjunction with all of Part 3.

If your proposal does not meet all of the standards you must lodge a Development Application.

I need a Development Application (DA). What do I do?

If your proposal does not qualify as Complying Development, you will need to lodge a Development Application with Council.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a useful guide to the DA process


What is a Dividing Fence

A dividing fence is a fence that separates the land of adjoining owners, whether on the common boundary of adjoining lands or on a line other than the common boundary.

Prior to constructing a dividing fence between your property and your neighbours, you will need to contact them to work out the location, cost and design of the fence. This matter is covered by the Dividing Fences Act 1991.

If you do not know the name of your neighbour you may submit an Adjoining Owner's Details form to council.


Can my neighbour make me pay for construction of a dividing fence?

The NSW Dividing Fences Act 1991 addresses how the cost of a dividing fence is shared between owners. Councils have no role to play.

Find out more:


Dividing Fence Disputes

Council does not have jurisdiction to resolve dividing fence disputes between neighbours.

If there is a dispute and you and your neighbour cannot agree on fencing work, you can: