2017 Coastal Hazard Assessment information will be reflected in your Land Information Memorandum (LIM). The hazard information will need to be considered when applying for building consent.

The 2017 Report will also inform the coastal hazards chapter in the Christchurch District Plan. 

The Council is legally required to include hazard information in a Land Information Memorandum (or LIM) if it is known to us.

LIM information about special features of the land, like other categorisations such as District Plan zones, helps anyone who is thinking about buying, building, repairing or investing in property to make informed decisions.

Public bodies like the Council also use this information to make sound decisions about building or rebuilding community facilities and infrastructure.

The 2017 Coastal Hazards Assessment was received by the Council on 9 November 2017 and LIMs have been updated to reflect the information in the report.

When a LIM is applied for on a property within areas the report identifies as potentially impacted by coastal hazards, the LIM will state either one or both of the following:

"The Council has a report, Coastal Hazard Assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula (2017), that indicates this property or part of this property may be susceptible to coastal inundation (flooding by the sea). The 2017 report considers four sea level rise scenarios through to the year 2120. A copy of the 2017 report and other coastal hazard information can be found at www.ccc.govt.nz/coastalhazards(external link)."

And/or:

The Council has a report, Coastal Hazard Assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula (2017), that indicates this property or part of this property may be susceptible to coastal erosion. The 2017 report considers four sea level rise scenarios through to the year 2120. A copy of the 2017 report and other coastal hazard information can be found at www.ccc.govt.nz/coastalhazards(external link)."

The revised LIM wording meets the Council’s statutory and legal obligations and is in line with recent case law.

Under the Building Act 2004, a building consent application must take into account all conditions that may apply to a site, and demonstrate that the building work will comply with the building code.

In this case, the 2017 Coastal Hazards Assessment shows coastal hazard conditions that need to be considered by the designer of the home and assessed by the Council, (as the district’s building consent authority) as part of a building consent.

The 2017 Coastal Hazards Assessment is designed to help the Council with planning. It looks broadly at areas and how they might be impacted by the hazards. Consenting staff assessing building consents for properties in these areas would refer to the report to flag that coastal hazards need to be considered. They would likely need to check that the designer of the home has considered the issue on a site-specific basis as a part of assessing a building consent in these areas.

If you want to rebuild or do a major alteration (including full foundation repair) in a coastal hazard area (as identified in the 2017 report), your building consent application would need to show that you can adequately protect the land, the building and other property from the hazardous conditions, in this case, coastal inundation or erosion. It's important to note that the Council as the consenting authority, cannot offer design advice. People would need to seek this advice from a designer.

If you can't show there will be adequate protection from the hazard, a building consent may sometimes be issued, with a section 73 notice (hazard notice). If someone chooses to construct a building that complies with the building code but does not (or cannot) mitigate the hazard to the surrounding land, a hazard notice allows an owner to take the risk of building on that land, with the territorial authority (the council) protected against legal liability for this risk. The hazard notice goes on the certificate of title.

If you are looking to do building work in an area that may be susceptible to natural hazards, we recommend you seek professional or legal advice so you can make fully informed decisions. A pre-application meeting, with consenting staff, is a good idea before, or at the design stage, before you lodge a building or resource consent application.

The Council does not specifically manage coastal hazards in the Christchurch District Plan presently, but information on coastal hazard risk may be required for properties within areas identified in the 2017 Coastal Hazards Assessment id resource consent is required for another reason.

Some coastal flooding areas are also identified in the High Flood Hazard Management Areas and Residential Unit overlay because of the potential risk to people’s safety and property as a result of predicted flooding depths greater than 1 metre (which includes a consideration of flooding from the sea in the future with 1 metre of sea-level rise). More information on how activities are managed in these areas can be found in Flood Management

How people and communities use and develop land, and decisions on where land uses such as housing are located, will be affected by coastal hazards over the longer term. We therefore need to start planning now.

The Council has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act to manage the risk of harm to people and property arising from hazards such as flooding and erosion over the next 100 years and we, therefore, need to consider where development is allowed and/or restricted.

We want input from communities and stakeholders to find the right balance of allowing development and land use activities in the right places while restricting it in others that could be in harm’s way. To achieve this, we will be proposing a change to the District Plan once we have an updated coastal hazards assessment.

Unlike adaptation planning which is focused on what exists at present i.e. existing buildings/ land use, the Council’s District Plan is about how we manage future development and land use. A plan change may therefore affect you, whether you want to develop a new subdivision or build an extension to your house.

The development of a plan change will start with a discussion paper on the different options that we could take in planning for coastal hazards. We will look to talk with communities about these options later in the year, and it will only be the start of the conversation.

If you would like to receive updates on the plan change or have any questions, please email us at planchange@ccc.govt.nz