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Do I need a fence permit for my Mornington Peninsula fence or Melbourne fence?

Fence Permit Mornington Peninsula Fences and Melbourne Fences

So, is a fence permit or building permit required for our fence on the Mornington Peninsula, or Melbourne? This is one of the most common questions we get asked and the answer is, it depends (but, thankfully, usually not). No one likes paperwork and fence permits are not exception, so avoiding it is always the best option but making it easier to get done is the next best option and we can help. To help you we've put together this article (but your best bet is to ask us first before contacting council as we can make it a much easier process)

Firstly whether you need a fence permit varies (slightly) depending on where you live. For example a fence in Sorrento, Portsea, Flinders or Rye will be governed by the Mornington Peninsula Fence guidelines for the Mornington Peninsula Council. But if you're in Brighton that will fall under the Bayside Fencing guidelines. Toorak will be City of Stonnington and Albert Park will be City of Port Phillip. You get the picture. You may need a fence permit in Sorrento but you won't need a fence permit for the same fence in Brighton.

Usually the main issues is fence height (ie not too high to obstruct the amenity of a place - and this varies) or safety (the obvious one being pool fencing which has it's own very strict legislation and is governed by a state body - you can find more about that here).

For fence heights it's also not always clear what that might look like as a fence height is measured from natural ground level.

An example of minor differences between councils is the Mornington Peninsular Shire stipulates you need a permit for the following a front fence greater than 1.5m high but if you're in Bayside the law says you need a permit for a front fence taller than 1.2m. To make it more complicated, there are variances within each council depending on things like the materials used. For example if you are on the Mornington Peninsular Shire a front fence constructed from masonry greater than 1.2m high DOES need a permit.

Confusing, right? So what do you do? The first course of action is to speak to a fencing professional who can help you navigate the fencing guidelines and fence permit requirements. We've been building fences across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula for years and knows the ins and outs. Sometimes minor changes to your plans or ideas can mean you don't need to go through the hassle of a permit or there are loopholes that can help you. We've included some links below but the easiest thing to do is contact us first and we can guide you through the process and make sure you get the fence you want without the headaches.

  • A front fence greater than 1.5m high

  • Front fence constructed from masonry greater than 1.2m high

  • Boundary fence greater than 2m high

  • Front or boundary fence that forms part of a pool safety barrier

  • If your property is a corner block, a front fence greater than 1m high within 9m of the point of intersection of your two corner boundaries, see the red line in the diagram below.

  • Head here for more details or contact us on

  • For front fences, (ie, a fence within 3.0m of a boundary abutting a street) that are in excess of 1.2m in height above natural ground level. 

  • For any fence, adjacent to a street and containing barbed wire or the like. 

  • For fences forming part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool or spa. 

  • For a fence exceeding 1.0m in height above footpath level when within 9.0m of a point of intersection of street alignments on corner allotments. 

  • For all other fences (except a chain wire fence surrounding a tennis court) in excess of 2.0m in height above natural ground level.

  • Head here for more details or contact us on 

  • any fence of any height used as a swimming pool safety barrier

  • any masonry, concrete or similar material front or side street fence over 1.2 metres high

  • any retaining wall not associated with other building work or protecting adjoining property

  • any fence height greater than the heights listed below.

  • You don't need a building permit to build a timber, paling or Colorbond fence, provided:

  • the height of the side and rear boundary fence is not over 2 metres (where the height of the side boundary fences within 3 metres of the front title boundary is not over 1.5 metres)

  • the height of the front fence within 3 metres of the front tile boundary is not over 1.5 metres or 2 metres for a declared road (a 'declared road' means a freeway or arterial road within the Road Management Act 2004)

  • the height of the side street fence is not over 1.5 metres

  • the height of the corner fences are restricted to a maximum of 1 metre when built within 9 metres of street alignments

  • it doesn’t form part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool, spa or outdoor play space linked with a children's service.

  • Head here for more details or contact us on 

  • for any fence if a building is under a Heritage Overlay. In some instances planning approval is also required under a Special Building Overlay or in a Residential 1 Zone.

  • Generally, fence heights should not exceed 1.2 metres and fencing should be of a design that compliments that of the building.

  • Exact historical replication of fences is not usually necessary unless it is the main objective.

  • Head here for more details or contact us on 

Now that you have a permit sorted the next question we get the most is usually "Do I need my neighbour's permission to build a fence?". Again the answer is it depends but you can find out all about it in this article.


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