Longer wait for consents in Waimak

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 10:38 26/11/2012

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A construction boom in the Waimakariri district is stretching council resources and forcing home builders to wait longer for consents.

The Waimakariri District Council had received ''unprecedented'' numbers of building consent applications this year, particularly for residential buildings.

It normally processed about 450 dwelling consents a year but put through more than 800 in 2011 and the 2012 rate was already ahead of that figure.

Numbers had jumped 57 per cent in the past three months. In October alone, 128 applications were received.

Council building unit manager Warren Taylor said the 14-day average for processing a consent had jumped to 19 days.

''There's a severe shortage of suitably qualified and experienced building inspectors and consent processors.

''We've spread the net nationwide and we have managed to take on a few extra staff [but] there is still a very large number of applications coming in to process.''

The council had hired some North Island contractors to ease the burden and streamlined processes to ensure all information was provided when an application was lodged.

''It's not an ideal situation for anyone,'' Taylor said.

''Homeowners like to get their consents through as soon as possible, so that work can start [and] building companies want to keep their projects to a fairly tight schedule.''

Current growth rates pointed to annual consent application rates of 1200 to 1300, he said.

''If that occurs, there are some very serious challenges in finding the resources to sustainably meet that level of demand.''

Any suitably qualified people should contact the council, he said.

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- The Press

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