NCZ5, the 900mm Non Climbable Zone of a Boundary Fence

What can be located in this Zone

What is NCZ5 and what objects can be located within this zone

Your Swimming Pool Inspector will assess your Pool Enclosure using one of three Standards.  In the example above, the vertical palings provide a smooth surface within NCZ 5 so this pool enclosure complied. 

  • If your pool enclosure has been assessed under AS1926.1-2012, which is the current Standard, a 900mm Non Climbable Zone NCZ5 exists at the top of your Boundary Fence and is measured out and in a downward arc.
  • If there is any object located within this zone, whether it be a part of the fence, or near to the fence, that object needs to be removed or resolved.
  • Many pool owners do not understand why this is the case and want to see the legislation. Well these are the Clauses – 2.2.1 and 2.2.4.
  • Clause 2.2.1 states that it also applies to NCZ 1, 2 & 3 (these are located on or near a pool barrier, rather than a Boundary fence)
  • In any case, the Clause states that “Within an NCZ, there shall be no handholds or footholds, objects or plants that can facilitate climbing.”
  • There is no leeway here – nothing can be in the zone that can be used to climb down into the pool enclosure from the neighbouring property.
  • Below are some images of the most common intrusions. Vegetation and trees, horizontal rails, decorative screens and lattice, objects such as washing lines, light fittings, ornaments, trellissing and vines, structures such as the pool filter enclosure, garden shed or shade structure, posts to shade sails and intersecting barriers that have a width that exceeds 50mm.
  • If your assessor asks you to remove or resolve these intrusions then this is the reason.  The Standard requires a smooth fence material in this zone.
  • Vertical palings can be used to cover the horizontal rails, screens can be removed, trees will need to be trimmed back / removed (over 4 metres in height may require Council permission) and low structures need to be increased in height or removed.

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6 Responses

  1. Annelies

    Hi, we’re planning a pool along our back boundary fence but want planting there up to 4m for privacy purposes. Is any vegetation within the 900mm area considered not climbable like tiger grass? Also if I use a solid modular wall instead of vertical timber pailing, does anything change, for example, can I plant in the 300mm clear zone or what if we build the fence to 2m? Finally, are the rules the same if the neighbours have a pool on the other side of the boundary fence that is acting as a pool barrier for us? Thanks!

    1. Cluase 2.2.1` states that no objects or plants can be in a Non Climbable Zone. There is no mention of certain plants being ok. So you would need 900mm clearance out from the boundary. We also recommend to keep plants out of the 500mm Exclusion Zone which starts at ground level. The 300mm Clear Zone applies to the old Standard; its 500mm for new pools. Any substantial material is fine as long as its complies with NCZ5 ie no climbable points. Even if you both have a pool, you might be following different standards though. For a new pook its the current Standard which at the moment is AS1926.1-2012.

  2. Looking at the photo at the top of this article, there is an aluminium fence that meets the border fence. Assuming the aluminium fence is 1200mm and the border fence is 1800mm wouldn’t that make the top of the aluminium fence a climbable object (more than 10mm in width) within the 900mm arc of the top of the border fence? This would seem a very common solution for pool fences to meet boundary fences and we would like to do something similar but now I am questioning the legality of the solution.

    1. Hi Matthew, The current Standard permits a 1200mm high pool fence to intersect with an 1800mm high boundary fence provided that the surface width of the pool fence does not exceed 50mm.

  3. Darren

    What great advice – I was able to do a walk through and make my own determination of the costs that might be involved if I went ahead and purchased the property.

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