Applying for an encroachment licence

An encroachment licence is permission from the Council to build a structure on, over or under road reserve.

How it works

Road reserve is the strip of land between your property's front boundary and the road or footpath.

You need an encroachment licence to build a structure on, over or under road reserve, including:

  • garages
  • car decks, carports or car pads
  • balconies
  • retaining walls
  • cable cars
  • gates and fences
  • covered access ways
  • porches
  • decks
  • underground car parking or foundations.

There are other consents you may need as well as an encroachment licence.

Use road reserve for private purposes

When encroachments aren't permitted

You can't apply for an encroachment on land that is subject to:

  • the Reserves Act 1977, or
  • the Town Belt Deed.

This includes most of our parks and reserves.

If you have a question about about park reserve encroachments, contact our Parks, Sport & Recreation team on 04 499 4444.

Meet the requirements

Your proposal must meet:

  • the setback and height clearance guidelines
  • our road encroachment policy.

Setback and height clearance guidelines

Road encroachment policy

How to apply

Once you've submitted your application and paid the fee, the process takes up to 1 month.

1. Know what you need to provide

You'll need to provide supporting documents and plans with your application.

Supporting documents for an encroachment licence application

2. Submit your application and pay the fee

Apply online

Applying for a new encroachment licence costs $460 – the application form includes instructions for paying this online.

3. We assess your application

We will assess your application against the Road Encroachment and Sale Policy, and with other Council business units who may be involved.

If we need more information to process your application, we’ll ask you for it. If we don't receive this within 6 months of asking for it, your application may lapse and you may need to apply again.

If we decline your application

4. If your application is successful

We’ll send you:

  • the terms and conditions of landowner consent
  • the licence agreements, which you’ll need to sign, witness and return within 30 days
  • information about any bond that you need to pay.

5. Sign the agreements and apply for other consents

Within 30 days, you'll need to:

  • sign, witness and return the licence agreements to the Encroachments team
  • pay the bond (if relevant)
  • apply for other consents (for example, building or resource consents) if you haven't already done so.

Building and resource consents

6. Build your encroachment

You will have 18 months to build your encroachment from the date your licence is issued.

If you think you'll need more time to complete the work, you can request an extension by email encroachments@wcc.govt.nz

7. Once the work is finished

We’ll inspect the encroachment structure:

  • when you contact us to let us know the work is complete, or
  • after the 18 months are up if we haven’t heard from you.

For some types of encroachments, you will need to pay an annual fee. For example, there is an annual charge per square metre for parking structures, decks and balconies.

The annual encroachment fee is billed when the licence is signed, and then each year in advance from 1 July to 30 June.

Encroachment fees

If you paid a bond

Need help?

The Encroachments team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Encroachments team
Phone: 04 801 4266
Email: encroachments@wcc.govt.nz