About encroachments

You have to apply to the Council for an encroachment licence if you want to use road reserve for your own purposes. A licence or lease is needed for structures that are built on, over or under the legal road.

Due to Wellington's steep and hilly environment, most road encroachments are for residential car parking purposes. Only few commercial encroachments exist in Wellington, mainly for parking and signage. 

Proposals must meet kerb and footpath setback and height clearance guidelines. For more information, see: Encroachment setback and dimension guidelines.

Encroachments are not permitted on land that is subject to the Reserves Act 1977 or the Town Belt Deed. This includes most of our parks and reserves. For questions about park reserve encroachments, please contact our Parks Sports and Recreation team on (04) 499 4444.

When you'll need an encroachment licence

A licence or lease is needed for structures that are built on, over or under the legal road.

Examples include:

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

Additional consents

Even if your application for an encroachment licence is approved by the Council, you may still need to get a:

  • resource consent
  • building consent.

Buying/selling properties with encroachments

Sale of a property and the encroachment.

On the sale of a property, a new encroachment licence may be issued to the new owner as part of the sale and purchase process. This is subject to several factors including: annual fees being up to date, and the encroachment structure being in good repair.

Before a new licence/lease agreement is issued, Council will review the encroachment structure, area (m2), and annual fees. There will also be a one-off administration fee.

For more information on fees: Encroachment Fees

To check if a property has a current encroachment licence, email encroachments@wcc.govt.nz or call 04 801 4266.

Unlicensed encroachments

If an encroachment use exists, or is discovered, the owner(s) may be required to submit an encroachment licence application to the Council.

Property owners are legally required under the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 2008: Part 5 – Public Places, to enter into an encroachment licence for the ongoing use of road reserve. The Council (as landowner of legal roads) has the discretion to approve or decline an encroachment licence in accordance with the Road Encroachment and Sale Policy.

Encroachments Team
Wellington City Council

Phone 04 499 4444
Email encroachments@wcc.govt.nz
Fax 04 801 3200