Chief Executive: Ashburton District is booming, record number building and resource consents show

Published: 16 November 2021

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These are busy times for our Building Services and District Planning departments, as they deal with record numbers of building and resource consents.

Historically, the Building Services team dealt with an average of 12 building consents a month for houses – last year it was 19 a month and this year it is 32 a month.

There are 100 housing consents that are also just waiting in the wings to be lodged.

Keeping on top of those consents means sometimes expected timeframes are not met, but staff are working as hard as they can to avoid delays.

Those factors certainly have not slowed down the number of subdivisions being explored by developers and our Planning team is also very busy dealing with historically high numbers of resource consents.

A resource consent (sometimes referred to as a land use consent), is needed when a building or activity does not meet the rules in our District Plan, or where the plan states that resource consent is needed for a particular activity. Council needs to be satisfied that the effects on the surrounding environment and neighbours is not significant.

Having a resource consent application that needs to go to a hearing for a decision by an independent planning commissioner is not a common event here, but we currently have at least five consents going down this track.

The Planning team usually deals with 20-25 applications a month and in the first two weeks of November, we had 18. This doubling of workload is understandably putting a bit of pressure on our small team and some applications have been outsourced to consultants because we simply do not have the capacity to meet the desired timeframes on our own.

We still aim to process applications within 20 working days but we ask people to be patient and plan ahead, you may need to allow more time than normal.

Applications for subdivisions can be complicated, which is why we require accurate and detailed plans. We strongly recommend enlisting the services of a qualified surveyor and/or planner to help prepare any application and plans.

One thing is clear, plenty of people are investing in the future of the Ashburton District.

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