Fill levels and fill material

Any cutting or filling of lots, vacant or otherwise, requires the matter to be determined under a building permit application, and, for broad acre sites, via a subdivision application to the City.

The impact on the adjoining lots, the appropriateness of the proposed retaining wall and fill material needs to be assessed.

Adversely affecting adjoining land

Under the Building Act 2011 adversely affecting adjoining land' includes:

(a)  reducing the stability or bearing capacity of the adjoining land or a building or structure on the land;
(b)  damage, or reduce the structural adequacy of, a building or structure on the land; or
(c)  the changing of the natural site drainage of the land or existing or future buildings or structures on the land.

Where any of the above occurs, the applicant or builder must get the signed permission of all land owners of the property on a BA20 form from the Building Commission's website.  If they cannot get this, the applicant or builder must apply for a Court Order.  In this scenario, we advise you to seek legal advice on how this will affect you.


Adversely affecting adjoining land could be where cut and fill is to take place and requires the erection of retaining walls along a boundary line.  If the adjoining lot ends up higher than the subject lot, you will generally adversely affect the adjoining lot, unless a practising structural engineer has certified that there will be no adverse effect.

Another common example is where a swimming pool is to be constructed close to a boundary.  If the adjoining lot will be adversely affected, (e.g. by reduction in the bearing capacity), the permission of all owners of that lot must be obtained prior to making an application for a building permit, unless a practising structural engineer has certified that there will be no adverse effect.

Placing signs seeking "clean fill" is not acceptable. The material frequently placed is neither of a quality nor compaction suitable for building upon. The "fill" may then be required to be removed, the natural ground prepared by the removal of harmful material and "clean sand" placed. This can be an expensive fix.

Contact us for information relating to the particular situation.

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