Do You Need a Permit for a Farm Shed?

Jun 21, 2024

Author: Lisa Smith

Building a farm shed in New Zealand can be a straightforward process, but whether or not you need a building permit (often referred to as a building consent) depends on several factors including the size of the shed and its intended use. Understanding the requirements can save you time, money, and ensure your project adheres to local regulations.

1. Understanding Building Consent

In New Zealand, building consents are managed by local councils and are required to ensure that constructions adhere to the New Zealand Building Code. The Building Code covers aspects of construction such as structural stability, fire safety, access, moisture control, and durability.

2. When is a Building Consent Needed?

Generally, farm sheds larger than 30 square metres in floor area will require a building consent. However, there are exceptions under certain conditions: Exemptions Under Schedule 1 Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 lists several types of building work that do not require a building consent, provided they meet specific criteria. For farm sheds, the relevant exemptions include:

  • Single-storey detached buildings such as farm sheds, carports, and barns that are up to 30 square meters in size.
  • Kitset or prefabricated sheds where design and construction has been reviewed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.
  • Farm buildings excluding those intended for human habitation, that are isolated from areas frequently used by the public and where failure would not endanger human life.

For detailed conditions and other exemptions, it’s advisable to consult the website and your local council.

3. Factors to Consider

Even if your farm shed meets the criteria for exemption, there are other factors to consider:

Zoning Laws

Different areas have different zoning laws which may affect the construction of farm buildings. Check with your local council to ensure your shed complies with zoning regulations.

Resource Consent

Depending on the location and size of your shed, you may also need a resource consent, particularly if your shed impacts the environment or local resources.

Health and Safety

Consider health and safety regulations, especially if the shed will be used by workers or for storage of hazardous materials.

4. How to Apply for a Building Consent

If your farm shed requires a consent, here’s a general process to follow:

  1. Planning: Ensure your design complies with the New Zealand Building Code. Engage with professionals as needed.
  2. Application: Submit detailed plans and specifications to your local council.
  3. Review Process: The council will review your application to ensure everything is in order.
  4. Inspections: During construction, the council will carry out inspections to ensure compliance with the approved plans.
  5. Final Approval: Once completed, a final inspection is conducted before the council issues a Code of Compliance Certificate.

5. Importance of Compliance

Compliance not only ensures safety but also adds value to your property by making it easier to sell or insure. Non-compliance can result in fines or a requirement to dismantle non-compliant structures.

In Summary

Whether you're building a small tool shed or a large barn for your livestock, understanding and adhering to local building regulations is crucial. When in doubt, always consult your local council or a professional. Proper planning and compliance will ensure that your farm shed meets all necessary standards and serves its purpose effectively.

For more detailed guidance and to ensure you're fully informed about the specific requirements for your project, visiting Building Performance NZ and your local council’s website can provide you with all the necessary resources and application forms you might need.

Outpost Buildings provides a quality range of durable kitset farm sheds. These are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes to suit your application and property. They include assembly plans and all the required fixings and can all be delivered NZ-wide to your property. To learn more about farm sheds and options, reach out and talk to us about which one will suit your property best.

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