A building consent is formal approval that we grant under the Building Act that allows you to carry out building work. This includes the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building. We will issue a building consent only when we are satisfied that the proposed building work will meet the requirements of the Building Code. A building consent can not be issued retrospectively. You cannot carry out any building work unless you have a building consent. There are a few minor exceptions to this, as set out in Building Act 2004 (Schedule 1). For example, decks below 1m in height and retaining walls less than 1.5m high that do not support any additional load such as vehicles on a road.All building work must meet the minimum requirements of the Building Code even if no building consent is required.
A PIM is a Council report that provides information about the land and the requirements of other Acts that might be relevant to your proposed building work.A PIM provides:
The PIM either confirms that you may carry out the building work (subject to the requirements of the building consent and subject to all other necessary authorisations being obtained) or gives you notification that building work may not be undertaken.It is optional to apply for a PIM, however for larger projects such as new houses, large alterations and new commercial or industrial buildings, you will find a PIM very useful in establishing the feasibility and design of the project. Therefore, it’s a good idea to obtain a PIM during the planning stage.For more information, search the Department of Building and Housing website for their publication - A Beginner’s Guide to Resource and Building Consent Processes.
Applications can be complex. We recommend that you engage professionals to help with the design work, drawings, specifications and documentations. You can nominate an agent such as a builder or an architect to act on your behalf.Applications must include:
National multi-use approval applications also require:
Building work that includes specified systems such as fire alarm and lifts must provide performance standards for the specified systems, and the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures to be followed by independent qualified persons in respect to each specified system.
Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can either post your application to us or bring it to the Civic Centre. For complex projects, contact us to book a pre-lodgement meeting. This meeting will make sure that your building consent application is complete before you lodge it with us, which will help the whole consent process run easier and smoother.
The time taken to get a building consent issued depends on the complexity of your project and whether or not you have provided us with sufficient information.All building consents are required to be approved within 20 working days, except for MultiProof consents where 10 working days apply. Applications supplied with insufficient information will incur additional processing time and you will receive a formal request for further information (RFI). Processing of the application is not continued until the requested information is received.
First we will check the completeness of the documents included in your application. This is not a technical check. If the application is incomplete, it will not be accepted and you will need to re-lodge the application with the correct and complete documentation.A unique building consent number is assigned to a complete application once it is accepted. Please note this number as a reference for future communications related to your application.Please use the checklists inlcuded with each application form to pre-check your application before submitting it to us.Return to top
Next, one of our Building Officers will perform a technical review of your application to ensure your project complies with the Building Code. If the application is supplied with insufficient or incorrect information, we will request further information. A letter requesting the information will be posted or emailed to you. The statutory timeframe recording is paused at this point – it will restart when the additional information is received.Some consent processing involves specialist disciplines such as civil or structural engineering, or mechanical or fire protection engineering. These applications are normally outsourced to an external consultant for review.Our planners will also check your application to ensure that your proposal complies with the New Plymouth District Plan. If it does not, you will be required to obtain a resource consent before building can begin - even if your project complies with the Building Code. It's a good idea to talk with one of our planners before you lodge your building consent application if you suspect your aqpplication does not comply with the District Plan.When all documentation and plans are approved and we are satisfied that the building works meet the requirements of the Building Code, your application will be granted and ready for issue. A list of the inspections required for your project is prepared and attached to your building consent.Typical inspections are (but are not limited to):
Please ensure that you read the inspection requirements and are familiar with them before starting building work.
Producer statements from suitably qualified persons may be accepted as a supporting document for your application. For example, an engineer may provide a producer statement certifying the overall structure or a portion of it (like a beam or door lintel).Usually with more complex designs, a peer review (a check by a qualified independent person not associated with the provider of the producer statement) will be required in support of the statement.Producer statements may be offered as part of the design process and can also be used for specialist construction purposes such as pile driving, and structural and mechanical engineering.
The approved documentation is posted to you or your agent as nominated on the application form. It will include approved plans, a list of inspections, a building consent and a code compliance certificate (CCC) application form. Consent conditions may be imposed on your building consent, which are necessary to ensure compliance. It is important that you and your agent read and understand all the conditions before commencing work.Return to top
An amendment means a change made to the original building plans or specifications after your consent is granted. For very minor variations the amendment can be either a handwritten note on the consented plans signed by the applicant/builder/designer (informal), or through a formal amendment.A minor variation is a change that clearly has little impact on compliance with the Building Code and may be approved by one of our Building Officers in the field. It simply achieves the same outcome in a different way – for example, the type of taps used, or positioning of kitchen joinery or non-structural walls or door.A major variation is where the work is outside the scope of the original consent such as additional footprint or increase in floor area, construction method, or significant changes to the layout. A formal amendment will be required for the new work to be undertaken, and revised plans and specifications are required to be submitted to us for approval prior to the work being carried out.You must notify us about any proposed variation so we can confirm whether the change is minor or major. All amendments must be approved and recorded by us.
Building consent charges are set to recover all the costs that we incur when processing and inspecting consented works. The base fee reflects the anticipated costs for both the administration and inspection activities. The base fee and levies applicable are required to be paid in full before your building consent is issued. A development contribution is required to be paid in full before the CCC is issued or within 180 days of granting the consent, whichever happens first.
Work must start within 12 months of the date that the building consent is issued. If no inspections are recorded within 11 months, we will send you a reminder letter.If work has already started, we suggest that you notify us. You may also apply for an extension of timeframe, which we will review.If we do not receive any response, we will send you a 12-month letter confirming that your building consent has lapsed. You will need to submit a new application if you intend to continue with the project. All building work should be completed within two years from the date the building consent was granted. If the project has been delayed, you may apply for an extension of timeframe, which we will review.
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