Road stopping

Road stopping is the process of changing legal road land into fee simple land so that it can be sold to the adjoining owner.

How it works

The Council can sell unformed legal road (usually the strip of land between a property's front boundary and an existing road or footpath) when the land is not needed for utilities, roads or footpaths. 

Road Encroachment & Sale Policy

What it costs

The process costs around $12,000–$15,000, plus GST, not including the cost of the land.

All costs are paid by the applicant. These costs can include:

  • valuation
  • survey plans
  • legal work (yours and the Council’s)
  • public notification
  • consultants
  • Council staff time
  • any Environment Court costs, if required – these will be outside of the cost estimate above.

A rebate on the process costs may apply – this will be calculated at the end of the process.

Before you apply

Before you begin, contact one of our Property Advisors at roadstopping@wcc.govt.nz to discuss your proposal and check it meets our conditions.

They'll check with the Transport Planning team to see if they support the proposal, and if they want to impose any conditions.

How to apply

Once you've applied, the process takes at least a year. It can take longer if there are objections to your application. 

Road stopping process timetable (64KB PDF)

Road stopping – a guide for potential buyers (40KB PDF)

1. Submit your application and pay the fee

Apply for road stopping

Download the form

Road stopping application form (48KB PDF)

The application fee is $517.50 (including GST). We'll send you an invoice once your application has been accepted and approved at the end of step 2.

2. Internal review to discuss your proposal 

All applications for road stopping are individually assessed. Once we receive your application, we assign a Property Advisor to manage the process.

They liaise with other Council business units to determine:

  • whether there is any reason why the legal road land cannot be sold
  • what, if any, conditions are required
  • which neighbours need to be consulted.

The property advisor will also lodge a request on beforeudig.co.nz to clarify whether there are any service authority assets in the vicinity of the proposed road stopping – this may result in service authorities imposing conditions.

Your proposal may be declined at this stage.

3. Notifying neighbours and land valuation

We will:

  • provide your neighbours with details about the application, and advise them that they will have the opportunity to comment during the public notification phase
  • arrange for an independent registered valuer to value the land.

Valuing the land

4. Committee report and Council decision 

The Property Advisor prepares a report for the appropriate Council committee and full Council meetings. The report requests:

  • to declare the land surplus
  • authorisation to initiate the road stopping process.

Your proposal may be declined at this stage.

5. Section 40 PWA report 

The Property Advisor, or a Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) accredited agent, will determine if section 40 of the Public Works Act 1981 applies to your proposal. This establishes whether the land has to be offered back to a previous owner or their successor.

If the land has to be offered back to a former owner, the Council’s offer-back process will be followed. This may take several months. If section 40 does not apply, or the offer-back is rejected, the process continues.

Your proposal may be declined at this stage.

6. Survey office plan and sale and purchase agreement

We will arrange:

  • a survey office plan defining the legal road land being stopped
  • an agreement for sale and purchase.

The survey office plan needs to be approved by LINZ.

7. Public notification 

The Property Advisor arranges public notification of your proposal online, on site and in the newspaper.

The period of public notification is a statutory minimum of 40 days from the date of the initial notice.

If no objections are received, go to step 10.

8. If objections are received

If objections are received during public notification, the Property Advisor may arrange a meeting with the objector to try and resolve their concerns. If the objections cannot be resolved, they will prepare an objection report for the appropriate Council committee and schedule any oral submissions.

The committee hears objections and makes a recommendation to the full Council on whether or not the objections should be upheld.

If the Council decides not to uphold the objections and both the applicant and the objector wish to continue, the details are forwarded to the Environment Court. The Environment Court will make a ruling on the validity of the objections and whether or not the Council can stop the road.

If there have been objections, the Council and/or the Environment Court may impose further conditions on the road stopping. In these circumstances, it you may need to get an updated valuation if the conditions are likely to affect the value of the stopped road.

Your proposal may be declined at this stage.

9. Public notice to declare land stopped

The Property Advisor arranges a further public notice to declare the area of unformed legal road has now been stopped.

10. Title for stopped road land issued 

The Property Advisor arranges an application to LINZ for a new title for the stopped road.

11. Settlement and transfer

The applicant pays for the land and any outstanding invoices relating to the road stopping process. Titles for the stopped road land and the owner's existing land are amalgamated as part of the settlement process.

Note: If a significant period has elapsed since the initial valuation, the Council may arrange an updated or final valuation of the land before requesting payment. This would take into account updates like:

  • the final survey area
  • any market movements since the date of the initial valuation
  • other factors affecting the value of the land.

If you want to withdraw from the process

You can withdraw from the purchase process at any time before the conditional sale and purchase agreement is signed (at step 7 above). You will still be liable to pay all of the Council’s costs up until the date of withdrawal.

Need help?

The Property Services team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
Email: roadstopping@wcc.govt.nz