Front Fence Council Permit - Advice

Long time reader, first time poster.

Recently bought a house in Melbourne (Banyule council), corner block in quiet suburban street with house set back on the block, leaving a large front/side garden. I want to utilise this space and make it private.

As the block was subdivided years ago, official council rules would require a permit for a fence. They recommend a decorative screening (read: expensive) with transparency (read: not private)… As on OzB'er I'm concerned the process makes it more expensive and complicated than it needs to be.

From people will more experience than me, if I get the ok from neighbours, is it worth just building something that fits into the neighbour 'feel' without a permit?


  • Just ask the council for a permit, it won't cost much and is cheaper than spending money on something that the council will make you tear down.

    • I figured this, was hoping someone would say they'll never know/check.. cheers

      • You'd be surprised. Some neighbours can be especially nosey and love to snitch for the smallest thing. I've had one in the past trying to get me in trouble for a range of things (he was a retired council worker and had "connections") but everything I did was within the rules or not an issue.

        Just have a chat with the council, often they can actually be really helpful.

      • Never underestimate the modern Australian's desire to get some branch of government involved in other people's business.

        Get a permit for a simple fence to your liking and in keeping with the neighbours'. You can very easily find yourself issued with a notice to remove, council fine, and loss of capital all because the neighbourhood biddy with nothing better to do dobs you in.

    • This, only takes one unhappy neighbour and you've got a massive hassle and cost on your hands without a permit. Plus a neighbourly feud that will exist for as long as you live there.

      I don't think the council can force you to have a pricey transparent fence if other permitted fences in the street are similar to what you want to build.

  • If you do have to do a transparent fence, plant bushes or bamboo to create a screen.

  • Thanks to all for help.

    Seems like a permit is the way to go!
    And seems like we all have at least one neighbour who's "that person" who'd complain..

    Bamboo is another option. Cheers to all 🍻

  • Fast growing hedge… use mature plants, greenery is generally ok and is not considered as a fence.

    Hedging said hedge can be a pain, i know as we have extensive hedging..

  • If the fence requires transparency, make sure it isn’t for ‘sight distance’ for the intersection. If you put up something that can’t be seen through and it does block the view for traffic you’ll get told to remove it when someone realises.

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