Fences & Boundaries

fence is a structure, ditch or embankment, or a hedge or similar vegetative barrier, enclosing or bounding land, whether or not continuous or extending along the whole boundary separating the land of adjoining owners.

dividing fence is a fence which separates the land of adjoining owners, whether on the common boundary of adjoining lands or on a line other than the common boundary.

Fences may not require approval from Council if they are of a location and height that satisfies the requirements of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.  Approval is required for all other fences through either the development application process or complying development process.

Fences within the Upper Hunter Shire must be erected in accordance with the Code for the Erection of Fences, Screen and Courtyard Walls.

The law about the position of, and payment for, dividing fences in NSW is contained in the Dividing Fences Act 1991.  This Act outlines the responsibilities of owners in the cost of building a new fence and repairing or maintaining the fence.  It requires an owner to notify the adjoining owner if they believe that fencing work is needed and they want the cost to be shared. 

The Dividing Fences Act provides the procedure for determining the location of the boundary and the sharing of survey costs if required.

Disputes about fences

Disputes between neighbours about dividing fences are among the most common neighbourhood disputes.  The NSW Government has specific laws that set out dividing fence requirements and processes which control and regulate dividing fences under the Dividing Fences Act 1991.  For help with legal advice on dividing fence matters contact the Community Justice Centre or Scone Local Court.