Retaining Walls Without Building Approval

  • Post category:Outdoor Living
  • Reading time:3 mins read
High can you go? Generally, you can build a retaining wall up to 1.0m high in Queensland without needing to engage a structural Engineer or organise a development approval.

What to Consider when Building a Retaining Wall

Often manufacturers of retaining materials will specify the maximum height that products can be built to without engineering. Requirements change from state to state and for each councils, so also check with your local council for building.

Regulations To Consider

  • Minimum distances to a neighboring property
  • Planning scheme overlays (heritage, flood, acid sulphate soil etc)
  • They must not divert water to a neighboring property
  • Minimum distances to easements, sewerage pipes and water mains
  • Minimum distances to bodies of water such as lakes, dams, creeks and rivers.
  • In some cases, a retaining wall may be needed instead of a fence between properties. In this case, it is the responsibility of both homeowners to build the retaining wall according to Australian Standards

“Retaining walls can become a matter of dispute if a neighbour experiences unwanted effects from the construction of a retaining wall. They may experience water coming into their yard or other effects from the construction of a retaining wall. If that is the case, they may lodge a complaint to council and the builder of the retaining wall will have to tear it down or make adjustments to the retaining wall to be sure it doesn’t have an effect on a neighboring property.”

The Cheap Option

Retaining walls are often made of a range of materials depending on look, aesthetics and function required. The cheapest options are usually treated pine or hardwood sleeper retaining walls, followed by blocks (stone, concrete or besser blocks).

Consult Your Council

For more information on retaining wall rules within Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay Council requirements.

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