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6/11/2013 12:00 a.m.
Local builders and home owners may be in for a pleasant surprise the next time they apply for a building consent from Ashburton District Council.
Changing the way it processes building consents has seen the Council’s average processing time slashed to just 6 days for the month of October.
Council Building Services manager, Michael Wong says the changes are the result of a move to fully computerise the work flow required to process a building consent.
"The first month we fully used the new processing approach was September and we had a few teething problems to iron out," said Mr Wong.
Further refinements to the process and staff having a better understanding of the new approach saw October’s average down to just 6 days. The average time to process a building consent for the first 6 months of the year was over 16 days.
Mr Wong says he is delighted with the results and believes the changes will make a significant improvement in the service the building team delivers.
"Obviously every month is different in terms of the number of consents we process and the complexity of those consents but we have definitely locked in a significant improvement in service for our community," he said.
The next goal is to have all building consents applications processed within the 20 working day legal timeframe. The only consents issued in September and October that took longer than 20 days to process were ones that were processed earlier in the year but only paid for and issued in the last two months.
"Once we have the last of the older consents issued and out of the system we are confident we will consistently meet the target," said Mr Wong.
With building consent numbers remaining close to historic highs for the year the changes will be sure to be well received in the community.