Rise in consents a positive sign

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 10/03/2014

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Timaru District Council will beef up its building consent department in the wake of a recent increase in consents.

Regulatory services manager Chris English said the region's positive economy, particularly in the dairy sector, was likely to be a factor.

"We're seeing more subdivisions go out in the Geraldine, Pleasant Point and Temuka areas of late . . . while there is clearly more accommodation for dairy workers being built," Mr English said.

"South Canterbury went through a bit of a lull, as did most other regions, back in 2008 and 2009, but we seem to be getting back on the right track."

Mr English said for the year-ending February, the council processed 838 building consents, up slightly on the previous 12 months (833).

However, he said the most important figure was the value of building consents issued, which was up by nearly 20 per cent over the past year to $82 million."It shows there are a lot of larger residential builds going on, but also recent activity in Washdyke would have contributed to that."

New dwelling applications had also increased by nearly 25 per cent to 149.

"All the signs are good, this seems to be a good time to be in South Canterbury," Mr English said.

He said it was likely the council would have to employ an extra staff member in its consents department to address the growing demand.

If this got approved in the next budget round, it would mean the consents department would have increased from 20 staff to 24 in the past three years.

"We've listened to the building sector and improved our practices a lot, we're now processing all of our consents within the 20-day statutory time frame," Mr English said.

South Canterbury Registered Master Builders president Richard Geary said the local industry was "the busiest it had been in ages".

"There seems to be a bit more money floating around ..."

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- The Timaru Herald

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