The information in the 2017 Coastal Hazard Assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula Report will be reflected in LIMs in these areas, and the hazard information will need to be considered when applying for a building consent.

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

Land Information Memorandum (LIMs)

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 Report 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)."

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).

Building and rebuilding

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 Report 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 Report 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 Christchurch District Plan already identifies many of these coastal inundation areas as High Flood Hazard Management Areas because of the potential risk to people’s safety and property as a result of predicted flooding depths greater than 1 metre. The District Plan requires that new developments or intensification of land uses in these areas are to be avoided. This is to limit the exposure of residents to known future hazards as required in ECan’s Regional Policy Statement.  Resource consent may be issued for uses which do not increase the present intensity of land use in the High Flood Hazard Management Areas.