Relocating an existing building to a new site within the city in most cases, will not require resource consent, unless the site is within a Character area overlay.

Relocated buildings are a useful and often cost-effective way of providing for residential, business and community accommodation needs. 

Relocation also encourages the recycling and re-use of good quality buildings within the city, particularly since the earthquakes.    

A building is not permitted to be relocated onto a new site until all necessary consents have been obtained from the Council.

For more information about applying for resource consent or building consent please contact the Council on (03) 941 8999.

Character area overlays

Relocating a building within a character area overlay in Lyttelton and Akaroa requires resource consent. 

In other character area overlays, resource consent is required in the following circumstances: 

Where the building will be relocated to a position where it is:

  • visible from the street
  • located in that part of the site between the road boundary and the main residential unit on the site; or 
  • involves changes to the front facade of the main residential unit of the site. 

Unless it is:

  • an accessory building that is located to the rear of the main residential unit on the site and is less than 5 metres in height
  • in the Residential Suburban and Residential Suburban Density Transition zones only on a rear site or those located on private lanes in CA4 - Beckenham Loop. 

Applications for resource consent to relocate a building to a site in a character area overlay will be assessed on:

  • area context
  • site character and street interface
  • build character.

In the Akaroa and Lyttelton character areas other specific criteria also apply. These criteria are detailed in section RD3 and RD4 of the Residential chapter of the District Plan.

Building consent requirements

Before a building can be relocated, a building consent needs to be obtained for the establishment of the building on the new site. This ensures that the new building work (including foundations, steps and drainage) and any change of use of the building meets the requirements of the building code. 

Building consent may also be required for the removal of the building from its original site if it is attached to another one, or is over three storeys in height. 


Deposits are payable at the time resource consent and building consent applications are lodged. The final processing costs will depend on the complexity of the proposal and the time taken to process the consents.