Processing building consents

The Council has 20 working days (10 working days for multiproof applications) from the date the application is formally received for processing, to decide whether to issue, or refuse to issue, the building consent. (Note: when “formally received”, the processing clock starts).

Once the application has been checked for completeness, a Building Officer will review your application and assess it for compliance - this is called processing the application.

Note: your application will be checked by a number of areas in the Council depending on the nature of the work. The various areas that can be involved include:

  • Building (including plumbing and drainage)
  • Compliance with the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP)
  • Planning check
  • Hazardous materials; health
  • Trade waste
  • Engineering services
  • Geotechnical and external specialists, engineers, acoustic and mechanical services engineers

Requests for further information

If there are any questions or concerns regarding compliance with the Building Code, you will receive a letter (by email or post) requesting further information or clarification. The 20-day clock is suspended until this information is provided.

To reduce the time required deal with requests for further information, responses must be lodged at a meeting with a Building Officer (where possible with the Building Officer who raised the RFI's).  Please book an appointment by phoning our Customer Service Centre on 03 546 0200.

If the relevant information is there in full, including any issues that are easy to fix, the RFI response will be accepted on the spot there and then.

If all the relevant information cannot be supplied, customers will be advised what is needed and another time will be booked to resubmit the information.

Granting and issuing the consent

Once any outstanding fees and charges are paid the consent will be granted and issued, and you will need to uplift the consent.

Note that Council processes building consents electronically.  Your issued building consent will be provided to you electronically on a USB stick.  If you would prefer to receive your consented documents on paper, please advise Council when submitting your application (note that there will be additional costs incurred for printing).

The building works described in the approved documents can now commence (subject to any notices under section 37 of the Building Act 2004 being attached to the building consent, or information required by the planning team).


If the building work does not commence within 12 months of the building consent being issued, the building consent will lapse.

Consented documents must be printed and available on-site at all times during construction.


The total cost depends on the type of application, cost of work involved, and the level of detail provided. The quality of information provided at the time of application will also affect the overall fees. See building consent fees and charges for more information.

Next step

Building consent inspections and certification