Road Occupation Policy

Nelson City Council administers more than 247km of road around the city which is made up of formed road, and unformed road.

Nelson’s topography is one of a mixture of steep hills and flat land. This has resulted in some instances of narrow roads with limited room for on-street parking and some properties with foot access only. The street layout was largely derived from English town planning processes and did not take the steepness of the land into account. As a result, the formed roads are often much narrower than the width of the land legally designated as road. This means that in many cases the land between the property boundary and the formed road can be very wide and over time some of this land has been utilized as if part of the adjacent property.

In addition, some of the planned roads were never formed and are still in bush or just small walkways, while other roads are only partially formed.

Several road reserves are used for public walkways and/or private right of ways.

The Council presently has over 150 road occupation licences which allow the occupier of the adjoining land to use some of the road reserve for private purposes. The licences are usually for garages and carports, erected in this location because it was impractical or too costly to construct these structures entirely on private property.

The present Council policy is that existing structures will only be permitted to remain pursuant to an occupation licence (refer Appendix 1), and that no new structures will be permitted on road reserve (refer Appendix 2).

The Road Occupation Policy aims to ensure that the Council issues and administers road occupation licences on a consistent and transparent basis.

Road Occupation Policy Dec 2006 (183KB PDF)