Council refuses to waive processing fees

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 14:25 30/11/2012

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City bosses say they will work with people affected by new home-building rules but are unwilling to waive processing fees.

In an email exchange between Mayor Julie Hardaker and council staff, Ms Hardaker said the council had to seek a "pragmatic and practical" solution for people caught out by the rule changes.

The new rules – already being applied at three Rototuna subdivisions – prohibit garages being set forward of living areas, require at least one window and the front door to face the street, and stipulate that clear visibility must be maintained between the house and the road.

The changes are aimed at cutting down crime by improving urban design, but several builders say they are struggling to design houses that comply.

Ms Hardaker said it was important the council demonstrate a willingness to work through the issues with the building industry.

‘‘Subdivision development and people’s plans have been made based on the pre-existing rules and we need to understand that and ensure that we are proactive in being solutions focused.’’

Council city environments general manager Brian CroadntsTnte said he understood some people were genuinely caught out by the changes.

He proposed a council staff member work with applicants to help them through the process and fast track the resource consent to ensure a decision was made as soon as possible.

Mr Croad said as ‘‘a matter of fairness to other applicants and future applicants’’ the processing fee should not be waived or reduced.

Ms Hardaker said she would update councillors on the situation this week.

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- Waikato Times

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