The District Plan contains provisions that control the use of land for guest accommodation within Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

Generally guest accommodation is directed towards commercial zones, existing guest accommodation sites in the Central City or its periphery, or along arterial roads where accommodation has traditionally located in the Accommodation and Community Facilities overlay.  There is additional provision for farm stays in some rural zones.

In residential zones, other than in the arterial roads mentioned above, the provision of accommodation for travellers is generally restricted to bed and breakfast activities where the owner lives permanently on the site and a maximum of six guests are accommodated at any one time.  Guests can only stay for up to 90 consecutive days.

Rental holiday accommodation in existing residential unit is not provided for in the District Plan as a permitted activity.  This means resource consent is required to establish and operate rental holiday accommodation.  The District Plan sets out that residential areas are generally for residential activities only, along with community facilities and convenience activities which are restricted to locations on busier streets. 

The establishment of other non-residential/commercial activities is not generally encouraged by the District Plan, due to concerns about effects on residential neighbours and the character and amenity of residential neighbourhoods.

If someone wants to set up a rental holiday accommodation activity in a property they own in a residential zone, they will require resource consent as a discretionary activity in most cases.  They will also need to consult with their neighbours and are likely to be required to obtain their written approval to the activity. 

They will need to demonstrate that the activity can be managed to minimise effects on neighbours and the wider environment.  They will also need to prove that their proposal will not be contrary to the Plan’s direction to locate guest accommodation activities in the already identified locations and zones, or undermine the role and function of commercial centres. 

A key consideration will be the need for the activity to be located in a residential zone rather than the zones and locations already anticipated by the Plan.  This has to be more than just the owner’s desire to provide the activity in a particular location, a genuine strategic or operational need has to be justified.

There will also be requirements under the Building Act in terms of the change of use of the building and associated responsibilities to upgrade fire safety facilities. People are also strongly encouraged to check with their insurance company with regard to the change in use.