Auckland Council has put the wheels in motion to make building consents easier and faster to obtain with a project that involves upgrading its building and resource divisions.
A Council spokesperson says that the key objective for the consenting services in future is that they are more efficient and deliver consents faster. He says that this should also mean that consents cost less.
Currently, the upgrade is still in its development stages. Implementation will take place next year, with further information on specific timeframes to be provided later this year.
The aim is to deliver a consenting process that is tailored to the different types of projects. This will focus on four areas: Simple projects that can be processed quickly • Large complex projects where a project management approach is beneficial • High volume and largely standardised residential new builds where there are established relationships with an agreed quality assurance plan • Ensuring a seamless service across all consent requirements for all other projects.
Online solutions are being developed with the aim of increasing efficiency.
The process will include providing information and tools that will enable customers to make informed decisions early, and highlights step-by-step what they can expect; information tailored specifically to the project to help with applications; online receipting and processing of applications as well as online issue of consents and payments; an ability for customers to manage their compliance activities online including booking inspections and providing feedback.
Building control general manager Ian McCormick says that the ability to process basic applications within five to 10 days online will make a huge difference to customers.
“Instead of taking potentially 20 working days for consent, you’ll be able to start work on your project faster if it meets the criteria and the correct information is supplied in the application,” he says. “Over the past year we’ve seen massive growth in building consent applications, with a 12 percent increase and well over 100,000 building inspections. These demands are putting pressure on our business and, as a result, we need a more efficient consenting service to process the heavy volume.”