Some shade sails, fabric canopies and retractable awnings are exempt from building consent. However, all work for these building projects must comply with the Building Code.

To see if your shade sail, canopy or awning is exempt look at MBIE's guidance document on building work that does not require a building consent(external link).

To be exempt, they must be:

  • made of fabric or other similar lightweight material
  • 50 square metres or less
  • no closer than one metre to any legal boundary
  • on the ground level if attached to a building, on the ground or first storey level of the building.

If your structure is not already exempt you will need to apply for, and obtain, either of the below before doing any construction:

The sail, canopy or awning also needs to comply with the District Plan rules for buildings, including setbacks from boundaries, recession planes and site coverage. For more information on the planning rules please contact our Duty Planner.