Photo of structural bollards

If you're looking to reduce risks to your business against intentional or accidental entry by vehicles, installing bollards is one of the options that may be available to you.

Bollards can be ornamental, structural, removable or retractable and can be used to deter or prevent problems such as ram-raids.

These guidelines outline requirements for bollards, depending on the intended purpose, and what needs to be considered. 

Do I need to apply to install bollards?

Public roads and footpaths are a shared asset. They often sit above utilities like power cables, water pipes, and gas mains that we all use. The council is responsible for looking after our footpaths and the assets underneath them. It’s our job to make sure that any work done on the footpaths, including installing bollards, is done safely.

The council will permit non-structural bollards to be installed with minimal conditions. Nonstructural bollards can be bolted on or shallow mounted (maximum 150mm excavation), preferably in concrete. These types of bollard deter vehicles from entering areas. Non-structural bollards can be removable.

Structural bollards require more significant excavation (>150mm) and will need a formal application to the council and specific design. This is because the depth of any excavation increases the likelihood of having an impact on other council and community assets. Structural bollards will require a Licence to Occupy from the council, which is a document that will set out any relevant conditions (such as maintenance responsibility and possibly costs for reinstatement upon damage or removal).

Where can I install bollards?

Bollards can be an effective physical and psychological deterrent, however, there are some situations where bollards cannot be installed.

Typical bollard installation can occur at the kerb or at the front of the building. Spacing of bollards depends on intended use but will need to take accessibility in to account, to prevent vehicle entry needs spacing of 1.4-1.6 metres between bollards.

In many cases one or two bollards in front of a doorway may be all that is required. For installation along building frontages, the council recommends bollards are kept clear of walking areas, usually a clearance of 150mm to 200 mm from the building wall is sufficient. Where bollards are installed at the kerb they should be setback 400mm from the kerb face to avoid unintentional contact by vehicles. Where angle parking exists, bollards are best placed to suit the driver’s side of parked vehicles for increased setback.

To determine if bollards are an option for you and your business you need to: 

1. Check if the footpath is clear of obstructions:
Bollards must be installed to leave at least 1.6m of footpath clear for pedestrian access. Existing street furniture also needs to be considered, including poles, bins, signage and removable items such as café tables and chairs.

2. Check that no underground utilities will be impacted by your bollards:
Regardless of the type of bollards you want to install, you must check for underground utilities in the area. Damage to underground infrastructure during excavation or following a vehicle strike is a significant safety risk to the public. Bollards will move when struck by a vehicle and could come into contact with power or gas supply lines.

If there are any underground utility assets within 500mm of your storefront, you will need to have a specific engineering design plan done or consider other possible locations. You may not be able to install bollards.

To check for underground utilities:

  • Visit the before U dig website (
  • Within 48 hours of submitting your job in before U dig, you will receive emails from each relevant utility owner with plans showing any underground utilities in the area where you are planning to install bollards.
  • If there are utilities in the area and you want to proceed with installing bollards, we recommend contacting one of the Certified Locators listed on the before U dig website to come and assess your site for a more accurate picture of where the utilities are and whether bollards can be installed safely.

3. Obtain permission from the property owner to install the bollards:
If you are not the property owner, you need to obtain permission from the property owner to install bollards. If the property owner does not give their permission, you will not be able to install bollards.

Are there alternatives to bollards?

In certain cases street furniture such as planter boxes, bench seats, rubbish bins etc. will be just as effective at providing a psychological deterrent. These may be a more cost-effective solution and should be considered before any works are started. Considerations for street furniture will be similar to those for bollards, with the key emphasis being on keeping footpaths clear of obstructions. 

My site is suitable for bollards, what else does the council need before I proceed?

If your footpath is wide enough, you've got space to work without risking damage to underground utilities, and the property owner has given their permission, you can start to think about the specific design and placement of your bollards. They will need to be in keeping with existing street furniture colours also.  

For non-structural bollards, those that are bolted on or only require shallow excavation, you will need to:

  • Provide the council with a plan showing location, number and type of bollards;
  • If possible provide an image of the type of bollards to be installed;
  • Provide the council with the name and contact details of the installer;
  • If the footpath surface is not concrete (e.g. paved or asphalt) a plan showing the area to be excavated and concreted should be provided. For example a 300mm x 300mm square, excavated to no more than 150mm;
  • Ensure that work can be undertaken safely and with minimum disruption to other footpath users. Work sites should be kept to a minimum and protected with cones or simple barriers used to limit risks to workers and passers-by while tools are in use. Work should also be undertaken at appropriate times.