Crown Lands

Apply for or manage an enclosure permit

If you have a Crown road within or next to your property and you want to fence it within your land for grazing, you will need an enclosure permit.

The enclosure permit lets you graze the land but doesn’t give you exclusive possession or ownership of the Crown road. You’ll still need to keep the Crown road available for access.

The department issues enclosure permits to individuals and businesses who have Crown roads within their property and want to avoid fencing the road out.

You will need to pay an annual rent to the department for the use of the land. The frequently asked questions on enclosure permits give more details.

What is a Crown road?

Crown roads were established in the 1800s, when the common form of travel was by horseback or foot. While many of these roads have never been constructed, they are still legally Crown land and are not a part of the private properties they adjoin or pass through. These roads are often referred to as ‘paper’ roads. 

What is an enclosure permit?

An enclosure permit is an authorisation issued by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (the department) to an owner of an adjoining property and allows the Crown road to be:  

  • used for the grazing of stock
  • fenced into the owner’s private land.

An enclosure permit does not give a person ownership of the Crown road or allow them to restrict public access along the Crown road.

Does an enclosure permit allow construction on the Crown road?

No, enclosure permits only allow for the Crown road to be grazed upon and fenced into adjoining land. Structures other than fencing and gates are not permissible.

Can the area of the enclosure permit be changed?

Yes, there are 3 ways that an enclosure permit can be amended:

  1. Combination: If a permit holder has 2 or more enclosure permits in the exact same name/s in the same local government area where the enclosure permits are within close  proximity to each other that are associated with the same property, then the permit holder can apply to combine the enclosure permits into one, attracting a single annual rental. 
  2. Addition: Areas of a Crown road can be added to an existing enclosure permit if the permit holder wants to enclose an additional Crown road into their property.
  3. Variation: An enclosure permit can be varied to reduce the authorised area. This could be the result of:
    • a Crown road being retained by government or transferred to council
    • the Crown road is closed and sold
    • a part of the Crown road is no longer enclosed in adjoining freehold land.

A fee applies for each application, alteration or notification of transfer:

Enclosure permit application $250.00
Enclosure permit alteration application (additional) $250.00
Enclosure permit alteration application (combination) $250.00
Enclosure permit notice of transfer application $94.00

How is an enclosure permit terminated?

To terminate an enclosure permit, the permit holder must fence the Crown road out of the adjoining property and ensure that all the terms and conditions of the permit have been complied with.

The permit holder must then submit an Enclosure Permit: Statutory Declaration Form, stating the date the Crown road was no longer enclosed in the adjoining freehold property. This will be assessed by the department and rent will continue to apply until the enclosure permit is terminated and the permit holder is notified.

Enclosure permits may also be terminated if the road is no longer a Crown road. This occurs when the management of the road has been transferred to the local council or the Crown road has been closed or sold and transferred to the purchaser, usually an adjoining owner. The department may also terminate an enclosure permit if a permit holder is not complying with the terms and conditions of the permit or the land is no longer enclosed within their adjoining freehold.