Do I Need Approval For My Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is defined as any wall structure used for supporting soil that otherwise would not be self-supporting.

Because retaining walls maybe be supporting an important structure and can be at risk of collapsing if not well-constructed, council approval is often required before you can build one. You may also need a professional to design and certify your plans. However, there are some guidelines to whether your retaining walls need council approval or not.Retaining walls can be built without Council approval if it meets certain criteria:

  • If the maximum height of your retaining wall is less than 1 metre. 
  • A retaining wall must not redirect water onto an adjoining property.
  • The retaining wall must be at least 1 metre from any registered easement, sewer or water main.
  • It cannot be located nearer than 50 metres from a natural body of water.
  • A retaining wall must be located at least 90cm from any property boundary.
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall

How do you get council approval to build a retaining wall?

If council approval is required, it is because a retaining wall is needed for structural support. 

The only way to ensure the retaining wall is effective is for the wall to be designed and approved by professionals. In some cases, you will need to engage the services of a structural engineer as well. 

Council approval includes: 

  • Lodge a building application.
  • Have a qualified drafter draw your plans, with structural engineering 
  • Hire a building certifier, who will approve your plans and make periodic inspections to ensure the retaining wall is being built according to specifications.

If you require engineering and plans for your retaining wall we working closely with a drafting and engineering company Designer Planning who will be able to help for both residential and commercial projects. For all site surveys we recommend SMB. Contact us today.