In this section

Building a Home:

On Your New Subdivision Section

If your section is in a newly developed subdivision and your proposed house complies with all relevant District Plan requirements, then you can start building once:

  • the s224 Completion Certificate has been issued for your stage of the subdivision (although the property is not legally yours until the Certificate of Title has been issued in your name) and
  • building consent has been granted. For information about the building consent process contact building customer services by phone.

On an Existing Section

Please contact the Duty Planner (or email planning.info@selwyn.govt.nz) with the valuation number or legal description of the property. We can then advise you of the requirements relating to that site.

If your proposed building complies with all relevant District Plan requirements, you can start building once the building consent has been granted. If you are in a Rural zone, read Rural Rule 3 – Buildings. You may also need to consult Rural Rule 1 – Earthworks .

If you are in a Living zone, read Living Zones Rule 4 – Buildings .

If you are in a Business zone, read Business Zones Rule 16 – Buildings .

Not sure what zone you’re in? Consult the Planning Maps.

Boundary Fence & Building Rules

In general, the construction and maintenance of boundary fences is governed by the Fencing Act, and are outside the jurisdiction of Council. However, any fence more than 2 metres tall will require a building consent and may require a resource consent.

How close you can build to your property boundary depends on what you want to build and the zone that your property is in. Not sure what zone you’re in? Consult the Planning Maps.

If you are in a Rural zone, read Rural Rule 3 – Buildings . You may also need to consult Rural Rule 1 – Earthworks .

Some particular parts of the rural zone have specific requirements. There are additional rules relating to building at:

If you are in a Living zone, read Living Zones Rule 4 – Buildings .

Building in the Living zone at Arthur's Pass or Castle Hill? You also need to consult Living Zones Rule 11 – Landscape Management, Alpine Villages .

If you are in a Business zone, Read Business Zones Rule 16 – Buildings .

Building in the Business zone at Castle Hill? You also need to consult Business Zones Rule 23 – Landscape Management, Alpine Villages .

The activity that the building will be used for also needs to be a permitted activity, or a resource consent will be required before building work starts.

To find your boundary, locate your boundary pegs. Boundary pegs are installed at the time a survey is undertaken. While it is illegal to remove or disturb a boundary peg, they can disappear over time. If you are unable to locate a boundary peg, then a surveyor will be able to resurvey your property and install a new one at your cost.

Second Dwellings

Family flats accessory to the main dwelling are permitted, provided that they comply with the following restrictions:

  • They must comply with the relevant bulk, location and relocation requirements for a dwelling on that site.
  • They can be no more than 70 square metres in size (excluding any garage).
  • They can only be lived in by someone of the same immediate family as someone in the main dwelling on the site.

In the Rural zone, the number of dwellings you can have on a site depends on the area of land held in that Certificate of Title. For example, in the Outer Plains, you are entitled to one dwelling per 20ha, so if a Certificate of Title contains 40ha, then two dwellings are permitted, provided that the relevant bulk and location requirements are met. For further details, read Rural Rule 3 – Buildings.

Please note that once the first dwelling on a site has been erected, a development contribution for reserves will be charged on the building consent for each subsequent dwelling on that site. The Selwyn Community Plan (Long Term Community Plan - LTCCP) sets out the development contribution policy.

In Living zones, only one dwelling and one family flat may be erected on a site as a permitted activity. You may be able to apply for resource consent to erect additional dwellings - read Living Zones Rule 4 – Buildings .

Not sure what zone you’re in? Consult the Planning Maps.

Relocating a House

Relocating a building requires a Building Consent and Resource Consent.