How to Apply for a Building Consent


​​​What is a Building Consent?

A building consent is approval from the Council to carry out building works at a specific site, ensuring that there is sanitary plumbing and drainage, that minimum fire safety standards have been met and that works are structurally sound.

A building consent is required for most building work, including:

  • ​swimming pools, retaining walls, garages and carports, alterations and extensions, new buildings and some decks and fences
  • plumbing and drainage work
  • heating, including fireplaces, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • relocation of existing buildings
  • change of use of buildings


Why do you need one?

Works undertaken without building consent, excluding those specifically identified in the Building Act,​ are illegal. They are often costly to set right and may put people‘s safety or property at risk. Illegal building works may also affect your insurance cover and/or house sale negotiations. If you are doing some work and do not know whether you need a building consent the best thing to do is ask. Call one of our Building Inspectors on (03) 440 0613 to find out.


How to apply

Building consent applications can be complex. Take time to fully research your project before making an application for a building consent, otherwise you may find your consent is granted but with restrictions on the work you can actually do.

Make sure your proposed project complies with our District Plan. If you would like some advice contact our Consents Officer - Planning on (03) 440 0602.

We prefer applications to be lodged in person with a Building Inspector at your local Council Service Centre. If this isn’t possible, drop it into one of our Service Centres or post it to PO Box 122 Alexandra or 1 Dunorling Street Alexandra. We are presently unable to accept building consent applications electronically.​​

Make a pre-application consultation (PAC)

We recommend you meet with one of our Building Inspectors and Planning Officers for a pre-application meeting (PAC) before you start the planning and design process. They will help you every step of the way from start to finish, including through the building inspection process.

Applications need to include:

  • A completed and signed Building Consent application form​
  • A completed user guide (lodgement checklist)
  • Proof of ownership (for example a certificate of title)
  • Two sets of plans (at least one A3 preferred), specifications and supporting documentation (double sided preferred), which cover the items listed on the user guide and are relevant to the building project being applied for
  • An application to construct a vehicle access​ to your property, if the property doesn’t already have an approved crossing. You should also apply, if needed, for a Rapid Number for a rural dwelling at this stage.
  • Appropriate fees - Note, if you wish to pay your consent fees online this can only be done once we have accepted your consent for processing. We will send your invoice to you by email. The invoice will have a customer number for you to reference and our bank account details on it. Processing of your consent will not start until the fees have been paid. This Council requires full fee payment up front in the process. Further charges will only be incurred at Code Compliance if building inspections completed are more than allowed for in the allocated fees.


​Work cannot start until you have a granted building consent and any other necessary authorisations (such as resource consents). You need to allow at least 20 working days to obtain a building consent when planning your project.

Requirements after a consent has been granted

Once a consent has been granted, work must begin within 12 months and adhere to the approved building plans.  A building consent lapses if not given effect to within 12 months.  Inspections are required throughout the construction process in order to secure the final Code Compliance Certificate.

You should plan to complete your project within 24 months.​

How to cancel an application

If you want to withdraw an application, you can do it at any time before the work starts. Requests to withdraw/cancel a building consent must be in writing. Council will refund the fees less any reasonable charges for processing the consent to date.



Consents Officer - Building
Phone: (03) 440 0613

Page reviewed: 19 Sep 2018 1:55pm