Learn about the developmental application processes for fences and retaining walls. 

Commercial fences

Commercial and light industrial area fences may require development approval. 

Refer to the local planning policy below for more information.

Note: If your property is in a new area, please check the subdivision information to establish the possibility of caveats or special provisions in your subdivision area. Styles of fences, materials or position exclusions may be applicable, which are not controlled by the Shire. 

Residential boundary fences

Fences that are behind the building line to a maximum height of 2.3m (measured from natural ground level), and between adjoining residential properties, may not require planning approval and come under the Dividing Fences Act 1961 which is administered by the Department of Mines, Industry and Regulations. 

Find out more about dividing fences. Refer to the Boundary Fencing Local Planning Policy above for more information. 

Residential fences forward of the building line

Fences that are up to 1.2m high will require an adjoining owner’s agreement in accordance with the Dividing Fences Act 1961. 

Fences over 1.2m in height are required to comply with the Residential Design Codes of WA [R Codes] and the Shire Boundary Fences - Local Planning Policy (refer to Related Information).

Generally, any portion of a fence greater than 1.2m high must be visually permeable, allowing interaction with the neighbourhood and providing good visual security. 

The maximum height is 1.8m, measured from natural ground level. 

When Planning Approval and/or a Building Permit are required

Owners proposing to carry out substantial works on the front boundary are required to submit an application for a Building Permit. Planning Approval may also be required. 

A masonry fence more than 0.75m high will require a Building Permit. You will need to include a site plan with the following information:

  • All boundaries and the outline of all existing buildings, crossover and driveway; verge and footpath details; and the position of the proposed fence
  • Visual truncations of 1.5m are required on both sides of a driveway
  • An elevation of the property showing the proposed and existing structures, proposed fencing, any proposed retaining walls/fill and heights from natural ground level’ 
  • A section drawing showing the footing size and any reinforcement
  • The material and finish (i.e. face brick with piers indicating the relevant sizes; rendered; painted etc.); overall height, with the maximum height not to exceed 1.8 metres. 

How to apply

Application forms and advice on fees and charges are available on the following pages:

Please note: Planning Approval is required prior to submitting a building permit application.

Retaining walls and fill

A retaining wall is a structure or wall supporting or containing a mass of earth. Fill is additional earth added to a site.

When planning approval and a building permit is required

A Building Permit and Planning Approval is required for retaining walls on boundaries greater than 500mm high, or where they support another structure (e.g. carport, external wall of dwelling).

When applying for a Building Permit, you will need to include the following information:

A site plan showing: 

  • Site boundaries and heights relevant to both sides of the wall, i.e. natural ground level
  • Residence and other structures on the property (i.e. sheds or pergolas etc.)
  • The positions of septic tanks and leach drain, if applicable 
  • The position of the proposed retaining wall, top of wall heights (T.O.W), bottom of wall heights (B.O.W), and any proposed level of fill 
  • The location of any easements. 

An elevation plan showing structural information, including:

  • Overall height thickness of the wall and level of any proposed fill from natural ground level
  • Type of construction and material
  • Footings and reinforcement details
  • Drainage behind the wall, if applicable 
  • Manufacturer’s specifications
  • Waterproofing details. 

Plans submitted to be a scale not less than 1:100. 

Other requirements

  • Retaining walls must be designed by a practising structural engineer. 
  • Retaining walls on boundaries or near a boundary must be constructed of durable material, such as brick, stone or concrete. The use of timber as a retaining wall greater than 0.5m high is considered inappropriate in this location. 
  • When working on or in close proximity to boundaries, the Building Act 2011 requires that an adjoining owner approves of the works if their land is adversely affected. 

How to apply

Application forms and advice on fees and charges are available on the following pages:

Please note: Planning Approval is required prior to submitting a building permit application.

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