Fences (& Gates)

As of 1 December 2021, a reference to an Environment Protection zone (E1, E2, E3 or E4) in a document should be taken to be a reference to a Conservation zone C1, C2, C3 or C4. As of 26 April 2023, a reference to a former Business zone (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7) or Industrial zone (IN1, IN2, IN4) in a document should be taken to be a reference to a new Employment zone E1, E2, E3, E4, MU1 or W4.

For further information please see Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Zones) Order 2021. To determine the new zone for land previously in Business and Industrial zones please refer to the published equivalent zones tables.

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:

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If the proposal doesn't qualify as exempt development, you may be able to apply for a Complying Development Certificate or a Development Application – see below for more information.

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 Housing Code 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

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: