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

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.

Sites in a character area overlay

Lyttelton and Akaroa

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

Other character areas

In other character area overlays, resource consent is required if the building will be relocated to a position where it:

  • is visible from the street
  • is 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 one of these exemptions applies:

  • 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
  • it is on a rear site in the Residential Suburban zone or Residential Suburban Density Transition zone
  • the site is located on a private lane in Character Area CA4 - Beckenham Loop. 

When assessing an application for resource consent to relocate a building to a site in a character area overlay the Council will consider the design and appearance of the building, its compatibility with the surrounding area, the character of the site itself, and how the development relates to the street. 

In the Akaroa and Lyttelton character areas, other specific criteria also apply. These criteria are detailed in rules RD3 and RD4(external link) in the Residential chapter of the District Plan.

Building consent requirements

Before a building can be relocated, 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 meet 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 consent.