Courtyard walls for single residences

Courtyard walls can provide privacy, security and screening. You need to get development approval for courtyard walls in some cases. This fact sheet summarises when courtyard walls do not require development approval.

Courtyard walls

A courtyard allows for privacy or open space area in front of a house. A courtyard wall must be constructed of brick, block, masonry or stonework and may have feature panels that use another material. The rules around courtyard walls for single dwellings are written in the Single Dwelling Housing Development Code of the Territory Plan (see element 3.3 and 3.4). The rules and requirements may differ depending on the size of your block. If you meet the rules below, your courtyard wall will not need development approval.

For large blocks (500m2 and greater)

  • the length of the wall cannot be more than:
    • 50% of the width of your block if your block is wider than 12 metres (see figure a)
    • 70% of the width of your block if your block is less than 12 metres wide (see figure b)
  • the wall must be set back 50% of the usual setback of your block
  • the maximum height of the wall is 1.8 metres
  • the wall must be constructed of brick, block, stonework or masonry and may have feature panels
  • the wall must have shrub planting between it and the road (which is to be contained entirely on your block and not encroach on the nature strip or any paths)
  • the wall must not obstruct sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians on public paths.

For midsized blocks (between 250m2 and 500m2)

  • the length of the wall cannot be more than:
    • 50% of the width of your block if your block is wider than 12 metres
    • 70% of the width of your block, if your block is less than 12 metres wide
  • the wall needs to be set back either:
    • if the length of the wall (measured parallel to the boundary) is 6.5 metres or less AND the wall is less than 1.5 metres high, 1 metre from the front boundary or
    • in all other cases, 50% of the usual setback of your block
  • the wall can be a maximum height of 1.8 metres
  • the wall must be constructed of brick, block, stonework or masonry and may have feature panels. It needs to be finished to match the house
  • the wall must have shrub planting between it and the road (which is to be contained entirely on your block and not encroach on the nature strip or any paths)
  • the wall must not obstruct sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians on public paths.

For compact blocks (250m2 and under)

  • the length of the wall cannot be more than:
    • 60% of the width of your block if your block is less than 12 metres
    • 50% of the width of your block in all other cases
  • the wall needs to be set back either:
    • 1 metre if the wall encloses north facing principal private open space (primary backyard area) or
    • 2 metres in all other cases
  • the wall can be a maximum height of:
    • 1.5 metres if the wall encloses principal private open space (primary backyard area)
    • 1.8 metres if the wall encloses principal private open space (primary backyard area) AND is a corner block
    • 1.2 metres in all other cases
  • the wall must be constructed of brick, block, stonework or masonry and may have feature panels. It needs to be finished to match the house
  • the wall must have shrub planting between it and the road (which is to be contained entirely on your block and not encroach on the nature strip or any paths)
  • the wall must not obstruct sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians on public paths.

For information on courtyard walls on multi unit sites, please submit an enquiry.

Figure a: The length of the wall cannot be more than 50% of the width of your block if your block is wider than 12 metres.

Figure b: The length of the wall cannot be more than 70% of the width of your block if your block is less than 12 metres wide.

Further Information

If you have any questions about this information sheet or would like more information, please contact the DA Gateway team on 02 6205 2888 or by submitting an enquiry. You can also visit us in person at 16 Challis Street, Dickson from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday

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