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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

​Do I need approval?

Before building a retaining wall on your property, you need to find out whether you have to get approval from your local council.

    Do I nee​​d permission to build a retaining wall?

    In NSW, you do not need council approval if the retaining wall is:​
    • less than 60 centimetres above or below ground level
    • at least one metre from any boundary line, easement, sewer or water mains
    • separated from any other retaining wall on the property by at least two metres
    • not affecting any heritage item and/or environmentally sensitive area
    • not built on a flood control area and
    • at least 40 metres from any natural water body.

    You should make sure your retaining wall complies with any local council rules or regulations. If you are not sure whether your retaining wall will be breaking any local council rules or regulations, you should check with your local council before you build it.

    How do I get approval?

    If after checking with your local council, you are told that you need to get approval before building your retaining wall, you should not build your retaining wall until you get the relevant approval. 

    You should contact your local council to find out how to get approval, as different councils can have different processes. 

    For answers to commonly asked questions, see Frequently Asked Questions


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