Does your fence or retaining wall need resource consent?
If you are planning on building a fence or retaining wall, you should keep in mind that there may be some restrictions on height, formation and location.
All buildings in the District Plan are required to comply with the building rules, which include setbacks from boundaries.
In the Waikato section of the District Plan, a fence is considered a building if it is greater than 2 metres in height, and a retaining wall is considered a building if it is greater than 1.5 metres in height. A combination of a fence and retaining wall is considered a building if the combined height exceeds 2 metres.
In the Franklin Section of the District Plan, a fence is considered a building if it is greater than 2 metres in height. A retaining wall is considered a building if it is greater than 1 metre in height from the lowest adjoining ground level.
If your fence or retaining wall is considered a building and it is located within the building setback from the boundary, then resource consent is required.
There are also some additional zone specific rules which need to be considered if building a fence or retaining wall. You should check the district plan to see if these rules apply to your property. In particular, these rules may apply to Residential 2 zoned properties in Franklin and properties within the Te Kauwhata Living Zone. You can find guidance on interpretation of the Residential 2 Zone fencing rules here.
You should also refer to your certificate of title to determine if there is a consent notice which restricts fencing location and formation. An example of a consent notice from recent subdivision within Pokeno is: “For Lot xx, any fence located on or within 1m of a boundary with a reserve shall be limited to a maximum height of 1.20 metres and shall not be close-boarded (or of similar solid construction)”.
Suitably qualified person – building consent reports
When applying for building consent, the author of any geotechnical reports, stormwater and wastewater designs are required to be registered with IPENZ or Waikato Building Consent Group. If the author is not registered, you will need to provide:
- A peer review from an engineer who is a registered and suitably qualified person; or
- Evidence of the relevant author’s qualification and current indemnity insurance; or
- Reporting and design prepared by a registered and suitably qualified person.
Improved wastewater treatment units
If your building project will involve installation of an improved wastewater treatment system (other than a standard septic tank), when applying for building consent the following information needs to be submitted for the system:
- A project-specific report and producer statement prepared by a suitably qualified person in accordance with NZS 1547:2012 and demonstrating compliance with the Waikato Regional Plan.
- Documents relating to the tank/treatment unit:
- Performance Certificate – see below.
- Manufacturer’s technical specifications
- System warranty
- Owner's operation, maintenance and planting guidelines
- Site drainage plan identifying location of wastewater treatment system, disposal and reserve fields.
You will need to ensure that the system has undergone testing. You can do this by requesting a copy of the Performance Certificate from the supplier/manufacturer. The Performance Certificate is produced by On-Site Effluent Treatment National Testing Programme (OSET NTP) who undertakes performance testing of these types of systems. This provides certainty for our processing staff that has undergone testing and consistently meets the treatment criteria required under the Waikato Regional Plan and current NZ Standards (NZS1547:2012). If your chosen system does not have a Performance Certificate, when applying for building consent you will need to include written confirmation from the Waikato Regional Council confirming permitted activity status under Waikato Regional Plan rule 18.104.22.168. This requirement is project specific.