Information on applying for building consent from us.

Apply for your Building Consent online

You can download and complete an application for a building consent (Form B-002) [PDF, 265 KB], also available in Word [DOCX, 429 KB], and provide information that is relevant to your building project.

We provide downloadable checksheets which will guide you to provide the required information to provide with your application.

Alternatively, you can also pick up an application form from any Council service centre(external link), or we can post one to you if you call us on 03 941 8999.

If you are not familiar with preparing an application for building consent we recommend you engage an experienced professional to supply the required drawings and information, and to apply for the building consent on your behalf.

Online: applying online will save you the cost of scanning fees, allow you to track your building consent application and will reduce application processing time. Visit Online Services for further information.

Post: post your application to us at Building Consenting, PO Box 73013, Christchurch 8154. 

Drop off: deliver your application to the Council office at 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch.

Include the following information:

  • Application for a building consent Form B-002 [PDF, 265 KB] also available in Word [DOCX, 429 KB]
  • The relevant check sheets for specific projects
  • Proof of ownership - provide one of the following:
    • certificate of title
    • lease
    • agreement for sale and purchase
    • other document showing full name of legal owner(s) of the building
  • All applicable plans, specifications and supporting documents as detailed on the relevant check sheet, demonstrating how the building work will comply with the building code
  • Any issued project information memoranda (PIMs) or resource consents
  • If the application is to stage the building work to construct or alter a building, include the pre-application meeting minutes or an email from the building consent officer confirming the Council's approval of your staging proposal.

Alterations to an existing building

If your application is for an alteration to an existing building, you need to consider section 112 of the Building Act 2004 and provide supporting information on:

  • How the whole building will comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable, with the building code for means of escape from fire and access and facilities for persons with disabilities (where this is a requirement). This may involve a costs and benefits assessment where the sacrifices and difficulties of achieving full compliance are balanced against the advantages of upgrading.
  • How the whole building will comply with other provisions of the building code at least the same extent as before the alteration.
  • Details of the proposed upgrade work to meet the above requirements.
  • Further guidance is available on MBIE's website(external link).

Buildings with specified intended lives

If your building is intended to have a life of less than 50 years, you must state the intended life of the building on your application form.

A specified intended life applies to the whole building, not a building element (such as a solid fuel burner) or a building system (such as a cladding system).

When we assess your application, we will decide if it is applicable to grant the building consent with a specified intended life subject to the conditions required by section 113, Building Act 2004(external link).

The standard condition will state that the building must be altered, removed or demolished on or before the end of the specified intended life. Council will also add to the condition that, should an application to alter the building to extend its life be made under section 116, the durability of the building must be shown to be of a standard appropriate to the extension of life requested.

If you want to extend the life of your building that has a specified intended life, section 114(external link) requires that you must give written notice to Council. For Council to be able to give written consent it will require a building consent application to assess the building has been altered as per section 116(external link).

Subdivision of an existing building

The Council cannot issue a subdivision affecting a building or part of a building unless it has considered section 116A of the Building Act 2004. This will be assessed with your application for unit title subdivision.

Commercial applications with specified systems

If your application is for a commercial project, you need to include a list of all specified systems for a new building or the specified systems being altered, added or removed as a result of the building work for a building with an existing compliance schedule.

The application needs to also include the proposed inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for those specified systems. More information can be found on the specified systems guidance [DOCX, 94 KB].

Providing a high standard of documentation is the best way to get approval for your consent. 

All applications will be checked for completeness prior to acceptance. Make sure that you have all the required information to avoid delays in accepting your application.

Please note: if your application is incomplete it will not be accepted and the statutory processing timeframe will not start until the missing information has been provided and resubmitted.

If you are unable to provide the information for a complete application we will send a non-acceptance letter to you. This will include details of the information required to submit a complete application. You can resubmit a complete application at any time. 

All applications will incur a fee for the time spent assessing the application regardless if they are accepted or not.

Fees vary for building consent applications depending on the type of project. Refer to the building consents fee schedule

Statutory clock

When your application is received and is accepted, the statutory timeframe (or statutory clock) of 20 working days for processing your application starts on the next working day after the day on which a complete application is received. We make a decision on your building consent within 20 working days.

This timeframe is reduced to 10 working days if the building you are proposing has a MultiProof approval. See the MBIE website for information on the MultiProof service(external link) available to builders who build standardised designs.

Request for information and the statutory clock

During the processing of your application, the statutory clock stops if we have to send you a request for information. Please respond quickly with all the information requested.

Once all the full information is provided the statutory clock will be started again and processing of the application will resume.

Please refer to our avoiding requests for information page for tips that may allow your application to be processed more quickly.

Assessing your application for compliance with the building code

We process your application to become satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code(external link) would be met if the building work was properly completed in accordance with the plans and specifications.


When we become satisfied on reasonable grounds your building consent is granted pending payment of all fees due by you. Your building consent is not released until all outstanding fees have been paid.


Your building consent is issued i once all outstanding fees due by you have been fully paid.

You can:

  • You can choose to receive your building consent documents electronically.
  • You can obtain a paper copy of your building consent documents from the Civic Offices, 53 Hereford St, Christchurch or a Council service centre(external link) for an additional fee.

Additional information which may be helpful when planning your application: