Approvals and permits required
If you intend to build a fence, retaining wall or embankment, you will need a building permit and/or planning approval from the City of Cockburn before work begins.
More detailed information is provided in the sections below. If you have any questions please contact us.
- It is an offence to start construction work without a valid building permit or planning approval
- Please obtain planning approval before you apply for a building permit.
Under the Building Code of Australia opens in a new window, a front fence is a Class 10b structure, screen wall, retaining wall or similar. It is located within the front setback area of a property.
Property owners must ensure the proposed fence complies with the developer’s design guidelines and/or Local Development Plans.
You can perform a title search through Landgate opens in a new window to check for any existing encumbrances on the property.
A front fence can also be a dividing fence between properties. Refer to the dividing fences section.
Criteria for Council approval
Under the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) opens in a new window and the City’s Fencing Local Law 2012 opens in a new window, a front fence:
- Must incorporate a 1.5m x 1.5m visual truncation on each side of any driveway if the proposed fence is over 750mm in height
- Not exceed 750mm high within the 6m x 6m corner truncation area on corner lots without the standard street corner truncation
- Must be visually permeable 1.2m above natural ground level (with the exception of properties fronting onto main arterial roads with high traffic volume)
- Must be wholly located within the lot boundary (including all footings) and not encroach into the road reserve or verge
- Can be made with brick, timber, wrought iron and tubular steel, or any other material approved in writing by the City.
When is planning approval required for a front fence?
You need to obtain planning approval for a front fence if the proposed structure does not comply with the requirements under the R-Codes. Front fences in compliance with Parts 5.2.4 and 5.2.5 of the R-Codes do not require planning approval.
Important note: Please obtain planning approval before you lodge your building permit application.
Apply for planning approval
When is a building permit required for a front fence?
You need to obtain a building permit if your proposed front fence is masonry (limestone, brick or similar) and is higher than 750mm above ground level.
Please refer to the checklist below for a list of documents you need to submit with your application.