Information 050

Depending on the proposed development, a fence and/or retaining wall can be sited:

  • on the common boundary.
  • within your property boundary.
  • in accordance with a planning approval.
  • in accordance with a siting discretion approval when the height of the structure/s exceeds 2 metres in height.

A site survey of the property by a professional land surveyor may be required for erecting fences on the boundary if no current survey pegs are evident.

Who pays for a retaining wall and/or fence on a boundary

It is not Council’s role to provide advice on this matter. 

Advice, information and a mediation service is available through the Department of Justice and Attorney General. For more information, refer to Legal Aid Queensland - Legal matters relating to the use of land.



Fences that need building approval

A permit for building works is required for fences where;

  • the fence is part of a pool fence; or
  • the fence is over 2m in height (from natural ground level).

Fence heights on corner allotments

Additional height restrictions apply in relation to the fencing of a corner allotment, and it is suggested further advice is sought before the commencement of works. Fence height may be specified by Council when it is a condition of a development approval i.e. Material Change of Use for units or commercial development and in some cases a subdivision.

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Fencing styles

Council does not regulate the style of fencing on residential properties. However, it is recommended that fencing styles should be designed and constructed to support the character of the area in which they are located.  Where possible fences should blend with the overall appearance of the streetscape.

Dividing fences

Dividing fence disputes are outside the jurisdiction of Council. More information on this topic is available in our dividing fences article.


Retaining walls

Retaining walls may require council approval. Guidelines and processes are dependent on individual circumstances.

A development approval for building works is required for retaining walls where:

  • the wall is retaining fill having a height greater than 1m in height above the walls natural ground surface; or
  • the wall is located within 1.5m of a building or another retaining wall; or
  • there is a load or surcharge imposed above the retaining wall (i.e. driveway, batter, building or the like).

This can be processed through a building certifier.

Some retaining walls may also require a Development Application for Operational Works, this is often required as a condition of a related approval e.g. Material Change of Use or Reconfiguration of a Lot. For more information contact Council and request to speak with the Duty Development Engineer.

If retaining walls are proposed to be built over or near Council's Infrastructure (contact Water and Waste Infrastructure Services for confirmation on approval requirements).

If a fence is proposed to be built atop the retaining wall and the combined height of the structure exceeds 2 metres above natural ground level a siting discretion approval may be required, so please contact Council's Building Compliance section for further information.

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Related information

How to lodge an application

Heritage fence advice

INFO 050 Building Work - Frequently Asked Questions Information Sheet

CL 013 Retaining Wall Class 10b Checklist