Demolition consents

A building consent may (or may not) be required prior to the demolition or removal of a building.

If you intend to demolish or remove a building or structure from your site, and a building consent is not required, it is recommended that you notify Council so that Council files and rating assessments correctly reflect these changes.  See building work exempt from building consent for more information.

Do you require a building consent?

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 has provision for demolition of detached buildings without a building consent:

A building consent is not required for the following building work:
The complete demolition of a building that is detached and is not more than 3 storeys.

For further information refer to

Removal of a Building Element

A building consent may be required as the Schedule 1 exemption above only applies to demolition that does not affect the primary structure of the building, or any specified system, or any fire separation.

Other potential requirements

Resource consent

Resource consent may also be required if buildings have a heritage rating under the Nelson Resource Management Plan. Have a look at Council's resource consent information online.

Hazardous materials

If you suspect that the building contains of is built with hazardous materials, contact Worksafe and dispose of in an appropriate landfill.


Other service providers such as power and telecommunications may also need to be notified.

Chimney removal

Removing an existing brick chimney in older dwellings can be complex.  Several factors must be considered:

  • If a building consent is required
  • Structure issues, such as replacing bracing and support to the roof and adjacent walls requires a building consent
  • Weather tightness and how the roof is going to be made good
  • Replacement of flooring and ceiling when chimney is removed
  • Sometimes a hot water cylinder with a wet back may be next to a fireplace and so plumbing may need to be addressed, or if a new hot water cylinder is being put in, new plumbing work must be consented and approved - refer to the Building Act 2004 Schedule 1 to determine if a building consent will be required

All of these issues should be addressed in your application for a building consent.


Council is required to collect levies for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and BRANZ.  These levies are based on the value of works and are explained in the Building Unit Fees and Charges.

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