Building consent requirements to convert a residential garage or other accessory building into habitable space and the use of caravans or campervans for accommodation.

Getting a building consent before converting a building into alternative accommodation

If building alterations are to be carried out as part of the conversion a building consent may be required (please refer to accessory buildings section). Some types of accessory buildings are excluded from building consent. For more information, please refer to MBIE guidance on building work that is automatically exempt(external link).

It would be sensible to ensure that the building is dry, has ventilation and adequate insulation. Depending on what is proposed a building consent may be required. A building consent is required to add a toilet or bathroom to a sleepout. An upgrade requirement of this building consent would be to fit smoke alarms in both the sleepout and in the house.

A resource consent may be required if there are any non-compliances with the District Plan, such as adding a kitchen or loss of car parking, outdoor living spaces, or setbacks from boundaries. We recommend that you contact the Duty Planner on 03 941 8999 to check this.


Using an on-site caravan or campervan for accommodation

There are many issues relating to this activity. The Building Act 2004, District Plan requirements and the Christchurch City Bylaws may apply.

If the caravan or campervan is deemed to have become a building under the definition in the Building Act, a building consent will be necessary. Please refer to the definition of a building under section 8 and 9 of the Building Act.

A resource consent may also be required if it is being used as a self-contained residential unit, or it does not meet building setbacks, recession planes and building coverage rules in the District Plan.

If you plan to use a caravan for accommodation, please speak to the Duty Planner on 03 941 8999 in the first instance. You will also need to discuss your proposal with the Duty Building Consent Officer.