Design Issues

Homes in the village are generally required to meet the Castle Hill Mountain Village Design Rules.

A number of existing home owners have contributed unofficial design suggestions (e.g. design considerations to cope with climatic extremes etc at Castle Hill) that new owners may like to consider.

Design Approval

New house designs must be approved by the Design Assessment Committee which consists of John Reid and a representative of the CHCA. This approval must be gained before submission of building plans to Selwyn District Council for consent.

To start the process of gaining approval from the Design Assessment Committee, please submit a set of plans to John Reid using the form here.


The following plants are suggested (and can be found in Village reserves, gardens and / or the local environment).

Red BeechFusospora fusca
Black BeechFusospora solandi
Mountain BeechFusospora cliffiortioides
Kaikawaka/PahauteaLibocedrus bidwillii
Halls Totara / Mountain TotaraPodocarpus cunninghamii (formerly P. hallii)
RibbonwoodPlagianthus regius
BroadleafGriselinia littoralis
Mountain Ribbonwood / LacebarkHoheria lyalii
ManukaLeptospermum scoparium
Mountain ToatoaPhyllocladus asplenifolius var alpinus
KowhaiSophora microphylla
KohuhuPittosporum tenuifolium
LancewoodPseudopanax crassifolius
Cabbage treeCordyline australis
Weeping MatipoMyrsine Divaricata
MingimingaCoprosma propinqua
MatagouriDiscaria toumatou
KaramuCoprosma lucida
DracophyllumDracophyllum longifolium
Prostrate/Snow TotaraPodocarpus nivalis
Heketara, Tree DaisyOlearia rani
Common Tree DaisyOlearia arborescens
Mountain AkeakeOlearia avicenniifolia
Hakeke / Mountain HollyOlearia ilicifolia
Hebe OdoraHebe buxifolia
Mountain FlaxPhorium cookianum

Please consider long term effects on shading and the view, for both your own section and that of your neighbours, when choosing your plantings.

Historically trees have been planted to play a large part in the development of an alpine character within the Village reserves.  However most of the quick growing exotic pines in the village are now classified as pests and are actively being phased out with native replacements.

Impacts of Trees

Alpine appearanceBlocking sun
Shelter from windShading
Softening linesBlocking views
Improved aestheticsPotential for damage to property
Shade in summerWind funnelling
Increased Bird life in VillageFrosting
Frost/Snow retention as part of winter beautyFire potential
Play spaces for younger children 

The trees in the Village are therefore being pro-actively managed to, where possible, maximize the favourable aspects but also minimize the adverse impacts.

Plants to avoid

Please be aware that certain plants now appear on the ECAN Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan 2017-2037 which classifies the following introduced conifer tree as pests.

Introduced conifer trees
Bishops PinePinus muricata
Contorta (Lodgepole) PinePinus contorta
Corsican PinePinus nigra
Douglas FirPseudotsuga menziesii
European LarchLarix decidua
Maritime PinePinus pinaster
Mountain (& Dwarf Mountain) PinePinus mugo (& P. uncinata)
Ponderosa PinePinus ponderosa
Radiata PinePinus radiata
Scots PinePinus sylvestris

Please note also that Rowan, Silver Birch, Sycamore and Cotoneaster are also problematic due to their spreading abilities.

The T.E.R:R.A.I.N website offers an excellent list of plants to avoid as does Weedbusters.


Planting appears to work well if plants are planted in late spring with weekly irrigation and rabbit fencing – allow for growth of the plants with 500 mm diameter cages (minimum).


Broom control is required by Selwyn District Council/ECAN on empty sections, and can/will be enforced.

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