A pre-application meeting is an opportunity for you to discuss your proposed project with Council staff.

Pre-application meetings are available for projects requiring building consent or resource consent. A building consent establishes that the Council has reasonable grounds to believe that your proposed building work complies with Building Act 2004 and the building code.

A building consent is separate from a resource consent, which is formal approval under the Resource Management Act 1991 that is required when a proposed building or activity does not comply with all the relevant rules in the Christchurch District Plan. You may need one or both types of consent for your proposal. 

Discussions with us before you lodge your application can be especially helpful before or at the design stage for the following types of projects:

  • commercial (including non-residential activities within or adjoining living zones)
  • multi-residential
  • complex building issues
  • Port Hills
  • large-scale or complex subdivisions
  • change of use (e.g. residential home into a shop)
  • staged building consents

The Council cannot provide design advice, only on the process to be followed and what information should be provided to provide reasonable grounds that the work complies.

Pre-application meetings are confidential and information about these meetings cannot be disclosed to other parties.

Our planning pre-application service is available for the following project types:

  • Greenfield subdivisions.
  • Subdivision within Banks Peninsula overlay areas, e.g. Landscape, Rural Amenity.
  • Central City large scale commercial and mixed use developments.
  • Large infrastructure projects.
  • Multi-unit residential developments of 7 or more units (including social housing projects).
  • Building within the High Flood Hazard Management Area.
  • Building within Character Areas.
  • Works involving heritage items and settings.
  • Lyttelton and Akaroa commercial developments where Design Controls apply.
  • Waterway setback breaches.
  • Out-of-zone activities (e.g. non-residential in a residential zone, non-rural in a rural zone).

Relevant matters for discussion can include:

  • Initial concepts
  • District Plan provisions and RMA processes
  • Information requirements for lodging an application
  • Specialist technical and servicing issues

We’re happy to discuss either initial concepts or more detailed proposals, noting that the extent to which your project plans are advanced will influence the level of advice able to be provided. If you are going to request pre-app we recommend that you engage a planning consultant to help identify or narrow down the key issues for discussion.

Please note that pre-application advice does not pre-empt the outcome of the resource consent process. Once an application has been lodged, a more detailed assessment will need to be carried out.

Advice can be provided via an online meeting, in-person meeting, or an email response to specific questions. In some cases a phone discussion may be all that’s needed. The format will depend on the proposal and the advice requested. We’ll contact you to discuss this once we’ve received your request.

Please follow these steps to request pre-application planning advice:

  1. Fill in the P-006 Pre-application planning advice request form [DOCX, 217 KB], including:
    • Details of issues to be discussed, e.g. traffic, urban design, servicing
    • Whether you would prefer email advice, an online meeting or an in-person meeting
    • Any professional advisors (e.g. planning consultant, traffic engineer) you’ll be bringing to the meeting
    • Documents, e.g. concept or detailed plans.
  2. Email the form and supporting information to CCCResourceconsentapplications@ccc.govt.nz
  3. We’ll contact you within 2-3 working days to discuss the format for the advice and arrange a suitable time if a meeting is needed.
  4. For online meetings we will send you a web link to Microsoft Teams (which can be used even if you don’t have Teams yourself).

If you need planning information or advice about a different type of project, we recommend you contact an independent planning consultant(external link) instead. You can also:

Partnership Approvals offers a case management service to help developers with all aspects of approvals required for their projects from initial concept until a building is occupied. 

This service is primarily focused on the central city to help development but significant projects outside this area can also be supported. Find out more about Partnership Approvals services. 

Pre-application meetings for Partnership Approvals case-managed projects are arranged and coordinated by the case manager.

When you wish to make a series of applications for building consent for stages of the proposed building work to a building, there is a requirement that the proposed staging is approved by Council before an application for the first stage is lodged. This will ensure better quality applications that will allow more efficient processing of these applications.

This is best achieved by arranging a pre-application meeting so details can be discussed and confirmed from the start to determine how the building work can be effectively staged.

A free two-hour consultation is available to learn how to make your building or renovation more eco-friendly.

We can arrange an advisor to attend your pre-application meeting or visit your home, site or office.

Find out more about Eco design advice.

Please follow these steps:

  1. Fill in the application form Word [DOCX, 216 KB] or PDF [PDF, 278 KB], or call 03 941 8999 to have one posted to you.
  2. Attach relevant documents :
    • details of design issues that need to be discussed
    • clear identification of the site; photographs of the site
    • any buildings and surrounding area (as a montage is useful)
    • a concept plan or detailed plans (detailed plans should include a site plan, floor plans and elevation for all proposed structures)
    • details of any likely issues such as an increase in traffic, noise, contaminated land, stormwater, infrastructure and heritage value.
  3. For staged building consents, please also attach the Staged building consent approval request form Word [DOCX, 204 KB] or PDF [PDF, 655 KB] to this application. 
  4. Send the form, draft concept plan and specifications:
    • email to preappmeetings@ccc.govt.nz or
    • deliver in person to a Council Office or
    • post to Pre-application Meeting Request, CCG Regulatory Advice, Christchurch City Council, PO Box 73013, Christchurch 8154.
    • You will be contacted by a staff member within 5 to 10 working days to arrange a suitable appointment time.

The meeting, normally held at the Council’s Civic Offices, will usually be facilitated by the planner or building consent officer. Initial concepts, design aspects, specialist technical requirements and other requirements will be discussed by you and relevant Council staff. 

Please invite your professional advisors, such as architects or engineers, to the meeting if this is appropriate.

At the meeting you can discuss:

  • initial concepts
  • detailed design aspects
  • specialist technical requirements
  • any other requirements.

Council staff will give their professional opinion on the proposal and provide guidance where possible. However, the meeting is not intended to pre-empt the outcome of the building consent or resource consent process. Once lodged the application will need to be assessed against the requirements of the Resource Management Act and/or Building Act.

Afterwards, we will send you brief meeting notes of the matters discussed at the meeting and the advice provided. Where relevant, we'll also refer you to websites and other information sources where you can access more information to assist you with your project.

The cost of a pre-application meeting differs depending on the complexity of your project and charge out rate of the officers attending.

Time is charged for preparation prior to the meeting, administration costs and any further research or advice (if applicable) post-meeting.

Refer to the Building and Resource Consent fee schedules for staff charge-out rates.

Charges incurred by the Council in relation to pre-application meetings are payable whether the project/meeting proceeds or not. The invoice for any pre-application meeting will be sent at the same time as the meeting notes. Advice provided post meeting will be invoiced separately.

You shall be liable for all costs and incidental expenses incurred by the Council in the recovery of outstanding accounts.