Building consent planning check

What you need to know about the ‘Planning Check’

We always seem to have a number of building consents ‘on hold’ awaiting further information from the applicant. This may be because information was missing from the initial application or the information is not clearly shown on the plans submitted. The building consent process can be a lot easier and quicker if all the necessary information is accurately and clearly shown on the initial building consent application.

The Planning Check for compliance

If you are applying for a Building Consent you need to be aware that your application may be checked by staff looking at a number of different areas of the Council – building, plumbing, drainage and dangerous goods, or compliance with the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP), and all relevant planning rules.

The ‘planning check’, as it is known, is an important part of the process and can often be the point where issues and concerns are identified. For this reason, it is useful when applying for a Building Consent to know what types of things get checked by the planning officers. This way, delays may be avoided if the Building Consent passes the planning check the first time through.

What the Planning Check covers

Depending on the size and nature of your Building Consent application, the planning check will cover some, or all, of the following:

  • Relevant encumbrances on the Certificate of Title (s.221, covenants etc)
  • Relevant Resource Consents pertaining to the site (and their conditions)
  • Specific overlays on the site, e.g. services overlay, landscape overlay, etc
  • Planning rules related to the specific zone, including, but not limited to:

    Site area and coverage


    Outdoor living areas

    Maximum height and daylight admission

    Parking and access


What if you are not compliant?

What happens if a non-compliance with any planning rules is found during the planning check is that:

  1. You will be advised by the Council, and
  2. Your Building Consent application will be put on hold until such time as the issues have been addressed.
  3. You will be asked to show compliance with the planning rules by:

    providing further clarification

    submitting amended plans, or

    applying for a Resource Consent

These options however can mean further delays for you or your customers.

Best advice

So the best advice is to check your Building Consent application against relevant rules and provisions prior to lodging it with the Council. You can check the relevant planning rules and provisions by viewing a copy of the Nelson Resource Management Plan and the Nelson Air Quality Plan (if applicable).

The Nelson Resource Management Plan

The Air Quality Plan

These are also available at Civic House and the Nelson Public Libraries.

You can also phone our duty planner on +64 3 546 0357 to discuss any specific issues that you may have.

Steps to success

Ensuring that your plans contain all the correct and necessary information will help to minimise unnecessary delays with the application. Follow these steps when reviewing the Nelson Resource Management Plan:

  1. Identify your property/site on the planning maps.
  2. The left hand maps show constraints on the site by overlays, designations etc. The right hand maps show zoning.
  3. Note: go to Volume 2 of the Plan, where the rules, organized by zone, are found. The index of rules to each zone give you a quick scan of the types of controls on building.
  4. Check out the detailed standards of development set for each rule. You need to compare your plans with these standards to see if you comply, or if you need to either amend your plan to comply, or apply for resource consent. Be careful!! There are also Appendices for some rules that contain more standards and compliance matters.

Please note that even if your plans meet the permitted standards for a rule this must be shown/stated on your plans.

The more complete your application, and where you show that you comply with the Plan, the more quickly we can process it.