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District Plan

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​On 7 August 2014, Council formally approved the adoption of the second generation Ashburton District Plan.

This decision was notified on 14 August 2014 and the District Plan formally became operative on 25 August 2014.

Please also note that Environment Canterbury (the Canterbury Regional Council) imposes additional consenting requirements for certain activities. It is advised that you phone Environment Canterbury on 0800 324 636 (0800 EC INFO) or visit their webpage​ for more information.

Removal of Minimum Parking Standards

The Ashburton District Council gives notice that, in accordance with the requirements of the National Policy Statement - Urban Development 2020, the Ashburton District Plan is required to be amended to remove minimum car parking requirements and that the Plan will be so amended from 20 February 2022.​

The National Policy Statement can be viewed on the Ministry for the Environment website here

Plan Change 1

As a result of the Councils review of the operation of the ODP since it became operative, it identified seven separate issues where it considered it was necessary that the plan be amended, particularly in circumstances where the provisions had resulted in unintended consequences.

These topic areas were as follows:

  • The definition of ‘retail’ and ‘commercial activities’
  • Building density in the rural zones
  • Hut Settlement rules
  • Diesel storage rules in Business Zones
  • Firefighting water supplies
  • Acoustic treatment of dwellings adjacent to state highways
  • The definition of ‘rural activity’ and ‘rural service’ activity

Plan Change 1 became operative on 20 April 2017.

Plan Change 2

The Change was in several parts relating to different topics, as follows:

  • Part A – Rangitata River – Protection of Salmon Spawning Areas
  • Part B - Farming Activity/Intensive Farming Building size limit (not progressed)
  • Part C – Up to Date Roading Hierarchy
  • Part D - Plains Museum Historic Village
  • Part E - Pastoral Farming in Residential Zones
  • Part F - Hours of Operation of Licensed Premises in the Business Zone

Plan Change 2 became operative on 22 August 2019.

​Plan Change 3​​

Farmers Corner Ltd applied to Ashburton District Council for a change of zoning for their site at 12 Longbeach Road in August 2019. The plan change sought to change the zoning of the site from rural to a new “Rural Tourism” zone, including provision for events and visitor accommodation.

Plan Change 3 was made operative on 29 January 2021.

Plan Change 4

The stated purpose of PC4 was to strengthen the role and function of the Town Centre (Business A zone) as the primary commercial, retail, recreation, cultural and entertainment centre for the district.

In summary, PC4 proposed to make the following changes to the District Plan.

Alter the status and range of commercial activities and retail activities throughout the Business zones, including:

a) the removal of the 500m threshold on retail activities seeking to establish in the Business A zone.

b) Status of small-scale retail in the Business B zone changes from discretionary to non-complying.

c) Restrict the provision of stand alone offices within the Business B to E zones (Discretionary), but allow ancillary office.

d) Permit trade suppliers in the Business B, C and D zone, and restrict other forms of retail activity (non complying), including removal of the permitted maximum of 750m2 GFA for retail activity in the Business C zone.

e) Restrict the range and scale of Food and Beverage outlets within the Business E zone.

Plan Change 4 became operative on 8 July 2021.

Plan Change 5

Ashburton District Council gives notice that Plan Change 5 will become operative on Tuesday 4 June 2024.

On 20th March the Council adopted the Commissioner’s recommendation to approve the plan change with amendments as set out below. The relevant provisions have legal effect from the date of this public notice (28th March 2024). Details of Plan Change 5 can be found here.

The following provisions in Plan Change 5 Transportation (PC5) were not submitted on and are beyond challenge. They will need to be treated as operative under section 86F of the Resource Management Act.

  • Design and formation of car parking areas
  • Mobility parking
  • Cycle parking
  • Roading hierarchy
  • Assessment matters relating to parking in the Transport, Residential, Business, Aquatic Park, and Scheduled Activities sections
  • Definitions

The following attachment highlights the provisions that were challenged in submissions.


The plan contains rules that may affect you if you are making a development or land-use proposal. To find out what is allowed to happen on a piece of land or in a neighbourhood (your area's zoning), refer to the District Plan Maps and Zones page.

When you have selected the map you are interested in:

1. Check which zone the site is in

The colour of the site will refer to a residential, commercial, central or recreational zone. Ashburton District Council divides zoning and other relevant information into chapters (listed below), these contain the rules and policies.

2. Check for symbols on the site

Symbols can represent a protected tree or building. If there are symbols, you will need to look at the key and then the relevant chapter below.

Operative District Plan

See Plan Change 5 above for transport provisions:

  • That were not submitted on and that need to be treated as operative under 86F of the Resource Management Act, and
  • That were included in Council’s decision of 20th March 2024 and that now have legal effect.