An automatic cohesive crack propagation modelling methodology for quasi-brittle materials using polygon elements is presented. Each polygon is treated as a subdomain that is modelled by the scaled boundary finite element method (SBFEM). Generalised stress intensity factors (SIFs) based on matrix power function solutions of singular stress fields obtained from the SBFEM following standard finite element stress recovery procedures is used to evaluate the crack propagation criterion and determine the crack propagation direction. Interface elements model the fracture process zones and are automatically inserted into the polygon mesh as the crack propagates. A shadow domain procedure couples the polygons and interface elements. It computes the load–displacement response and crack propagation criterion, taking into account the cohesive tractions on the crack edges that are modelled as side-face tractions in the SBFEM. Cracks are propagated using a simple, yet flexible local remeshing procedure that can remesh any arbitrary polygon. Only minimal changes are made to the global mesh structure each time the remeshing algorithm is called. Five cohesive crack propagation benchmarks are modelled to validate the developed method and demonstrate its salient features.