Heritage Owners Frequently Asked Questions

Heritage Buildings

What can I do if I don’t agree with Council’s recommendation?

If you fill in and return the feedback form to the Council, that feedback will be taken very seriously. It will have a considerable influence on the Council’s decision whether or not to continue with its proposal. While the Council has a statutory obligation to protect heritage, it wants feedback on how best to do this.

What is the timeline for the recommended changes to the inventories and rules?

This is the first of three chances to provide feedback. In this first round we are only talking to owners of heritage items. The next two rounds of consultation will be with the whole community. An indicative timeline is as follows:

  1. Feedback from landowners on listings and possible rules – Until end of March 2017;
  2. Feedback from wider community on whole Draft Plan (including heritage) – Late 2017;
  3. Formal submissions on the notified Plan – 2018.

The process will become more formal with each step, and changes to Council’s proposed listings and rules become more time-consuming. Owners are encouraged to provide feedback early on so that we can try and resolve issues before the wider public has input and we get closer to the formal submission stage of the process.

Who else is being consulted?

As discussed above, this round of consultation is for owners of heritage items only. Owners of properties where there is a heritage building, archaeological site or notable tree are being asked for their feedback on the new rules. We are also talking to owners of any building in a heritage precinct, because the rules may also affect them. The next two rounds of consultation will involve the entire community and anyone will be able to provide feedback.

Who do I talk to about my heritage issue?

  • If it relates to work you would like to do on the house now, please contact customer services on (03) 546-0200 and ask to talk to the duty planner. They will help you to determine whether or not you will need a resource consent.
  • If it relates to an application for funding to refurbish your building, talk to Richard Frizzell on (03) 546 0423 or email richard.frizzell@ncc.govt.nz
  • If it relates to the heritage status of your building, if you want to provide feedback on the proposed rules that apply to heritage buildings or suggest others, talk to Mike Scott on (03) 546-0281 or email mike.scott@ncc.govt.nz

What are the implications if my building is recommended to be removed from listing?

Whether or not you agree with the assessment, you should let us know what you think. If your building is no longer listed, there are a few different implications. First of all, you will not be eligible for heritage project funding for work to refurbish your building. Secondly, it will not be necessary to apply for a resource consent to demolish or make significant alterations to your building.  Please note, if your building is currently a Schedule ‘C’ building, you do not need a consent for demolition or alteration now, but you must let the Council know of your intentions at least one week beforehand.

The building will be considered a listed building until the outcome of the hearing relating to heritage buildings, which is likely to occur in 2019.

What are the implications if my building is recommended to be rescheduled as an ‘A’ or a ‘B’?

Once a building is listed as a Schedule ‘A’ or ‘B’ heritage item, you are eligible for rates remissions and to apply for heritage project fund grant for refurbishments. It also means that you will need to apply for resource consent to demolish or make significant alterations to the building. The Council is currently seeking feedback on proposed changes to the rules so that resource consent would not be required for works such as: insulation; earthquake strengthening; solar panels; solar hot water heating; adaptive reuse and maintenance and repairs.

What are the implications of the possible rule changes for buildings which are already listed as ‘A’ or ‘B’?

Informal feedback we have received in the past suggested that the controls should be relaxed to allow ‘sustainable additions’, such as solar heating, earthquake strengthening and insulation. If these provisions are adopted in the new plan, you will be able to do these things (subject to some conditions) without needing to apply for resource consent.

What are the implications of a building being removed from a heritage precinct?

Buildings currently in a precinct are subject to controls around design and construction of new buildings, subdivision, front fences, new buildings and alterations visible from the road. Design guides are in place to make sure that alterations are in keeping with the overall values of the precinct. If a building is removed from the extent of a precinct, the precinct controls will no longer apply. However, if the building is still an individually listed heritage building, it would still be subject to heritage rules for individual heritage buildings.

What are the implications of a building being added to a precinct?

A building that is recommended to be included in the extent of a precinct is recognised as contributing to the heritage values of that precinct. This means controls to protect those heritage values would apply to the building. These controls relate to the design and construction of new buildings, subdivision, front fences, new buildings and alterations visible from the road.

If there are two more rounds of ‘feedback’ to go, should I just wait and submit later?

We recommend that you submit your feedback in the early stages. This will help inform the Council’s approach as it moves on to the more formal consultation process. We encourage you to give us your feedback now, regardless of whether you support or oppose the proposed changes.

If I give feedback now, won’t that give other people a chance to overturn my request?

You will have the best chance of getting your request met if you provide your feedback at this early stage. That’s because if there is strong initial support or opposition to a suggested rule change or heritage reclassification, it will significantly influence how or whether that proposal progresses through the plan making process.

Does a heritage listing place a legal restriction on the sale or lease of a property?


Why does Council list heritage buildings?

Under the Resource Management Act Councils have a responsibility to identify and protect places of historic heritage significance. This is a matter of national importance under Section 6(f) of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

Many owners nominate their own properties to be listed because they want them preserved for future generations. 

What are the benefits of owning a listed heritage building?

The main benefit of heritage listing is the protection of the heritage values of the local area.  People who own heritage properties recognise this heritage is important to the community as a whole. Heritage controls also provide certainty for people, giving owners and neighbours confidence that the character of their street will be protected from unsympathetic development.

In the financial sense, owners of listed heritage buildings can apply for funding from the Heritage Project Fund when undertaking repairs or restoration work. They may also be eligible for assistance with rates remissions and the waiving of resource consent fees.

For heritage commercial buildings that are listed with Heritage New Zealand, there is also the possibility of central government EQUIP funding for earthquake strengthening work.

How can I find out if my building needs earthquake strengthening?

Please direct questions regarding earthquake strengthening to Bruce Mutton on (03) 545-8748 or email bruce.mutton@ncc.govt.nz

How much Project Heritage Fund grant/ rates remissions could I get for my heritage building, and how do I apply for that?

If your building is currently listed (as a category ‘A, ‘B’ or ‘C’) you should have received an application form for the Project Heritage Fund. If your building is currently a category ‘C’ building or is unlisted, you are not able to apply for rates remission at this time. If you want to discuss potential funding in the future, please talk to Richard Frizzell on (03) 546 0423 or email richard.frizzell@ncc.govt.nz

Does listing make it harder to get a resource or building consent?

This will vary on a case by case basis, depending on what you are proposing to do. Early consultation and advice from Council can help to overcome or reduce any possible barriers.

Will I need to get consent for all changes to my building if it is listed, e.g. adding a garage or carport, painting, fences, minor repairs and maintenance?

Minor repairs and painting to the exterior of buildings are normally permitted activities under district plan rules. Work on the interior of a heritage building is permitted unless it is specifically protected in Appendix 1 of the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Council is considering some alterations and additions to the range of permitted activities for heritage buildings. These include: earthquake strengthening work, adaptive reuse (meaning using the building for something other than what it was constructed for) and sustainable additions (insulation, solar heating etc). These permitted activities would still be subject to certain conditions.

Other building work on heritage buildings will generally require building and resource consent approval. Owners should seek advice from Council early in the process of making changes to ensure they are sympathetic to the heritage values of the property.

What is adaptive reuse of a property?

Sometimes this is a sensible way to ensure the ongoing use of an important place, for example adapting a house to offices or a warehouse to apartments. Changes of use may be subject to other rules in the Nelson Resource Management Plan (for example, industrial uses would not be permitted in a residential area).

Does a heritage listing affect property insurance?

Insurance companies should be informed that a property is listed or registered for its heritage values. They will want to know things like what structural work has been carried out, whether electrical wiring meets current code requirements and if the building is earthquake prone. Consider discussing insurance cover with a broker firm with experience of heritage properties.

Does an owner have the right to object to or support a proposed heritage listing?

At this stage Council is seeking feedback from affected land owners on this review of historic heritage. This includes feedback on the draft heritage assessments and proposed listings as well as possible rules for the protection of historic heritage.

Your feedback will inform the draft heritage rules in the Nelson Plan. When the draft Plan is prepared and made public, an owner (or anyone) can provide feedback in support or opposition to this listing. Following this feedback, Council will prepare the formally notified version of the Nelson Plan. When that plan is notified, the owners and community at large have another chance to make a formal submission on the plan.

How was my building’s heritage classification decided on? What were the main points taken into account when deciding if a house is an A, B, or not to be listed?

Heritage assessments are based on a number of different criteria, consistent with the recommendations set out by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. These criteria include:

  • Historic and Social Significance
  • Cultural and Spiritual Significance
  • Architectural and Aesthetic Significance
  • Technological and Craftsmanship Significance
  • Archaeological Significance
  • Scientific Significance
  • Group, Landmark and Contextual Significance

If you would like a copy of the heritage assessment relating to your building, or if you have further information that might merit a reassessment, please contact Mike Scott on (03) 546-0281 or email mike.scott@ncc.govt.nz.

Heritage and Landscape Trees

How will having a listed tree affect what I can do on my property?

Under the current rules, a resource consent is required for most pruning of a Heritage or Landscape tree. We are considering changes to those rules to allow:

  • clean up of storm damage
  • maintenance of minimum safe distances from power lines
  • pruning above the road reserve
  • reducing the weight of long horizontal branches.

Other activities are still likely to need a resource consent, including: pruning relating to aesthetics, excavation around the roots and the use of herbicide in the root zone of the tree.

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