Business in the ‘burbs

Home office

Are you planning to open a business in a residential area, or to run a business from home? Make sure you’re aware of the resource consent requirements for your operations.

City and district plans traditionally set out specific zones for commercial activities and others for residential use. However, some small businesses choose to operate in residential zones, where they are closer to their clientele and rents may be lower.

What kinds of business activities need consent?
If your site is zoned residential, but is used mainly for commercial activities, then you’ll generally need to apply for a resource consent.  Common examples include:

  • physios, dentists, doctors and health clinics
  • early childhood centers
  • lawyers, accountants & professional services
  • accommodation providers.

A resource consent application will be required to assess the effects on the neighbourhood, i.e.:

  • is there sufficient parking and safe access for customers?
  • what noise will be generated?
  • what hours will your business operate?
  • what signage is proposed?

Home businesses
Many city and district plans have exemptions for small business operating from your own home.  Perhaps you run a small beauty therapy clinic, provide IT support, run an online business or are a home based carer.

You may not need a consent if your business is secondary in scale to the residential use of your home. Requirements differ according to different city and district plans.  Check out these guidelines for Christchurch City, or speak to your local Council.

Help is at hand
The team at Avanzar have plenty of experience preparing successful consent applications for businesses such as early childhood centres, health clinics and professional services.  As a boutique consultancy, we’ve been through this process ourselves, so we understand your concerns.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can assist your businesses with your planning or traffic assessment needs.