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July 2021

Kia Ora

It's been a little while since our last newsletter.
The past 12 months have seen a surge of building consents of greater complexity than usual flow through our office and is a testament to the level of construction happening nationwide in response to the current housing shortage and travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19. The industry now faces some new challenges including a shortage of building materials adding further pressure to the housing market. 

Here's a couple of updates:

Fees & Charges for 2021/22

Building control fees have increased an average of 5%.
A few points to note:

  • There will be a transitional period of approximately 4 weeks. If you have quoted a job for a fixed fee we will honour the quoted lodgement fee provided it has been submit within 4 weeks after the 1st July.
  • If you have a Form 2 application saved in your system as a template, please archive or delete this document and replace it with the latest version downloaded from our website.
  • Council's website has been updated as of 1st July to reflect the new fees and charges.
Download Application Forms

MBIE released new exemptions under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 at the end of August 2020, which by now, most people in the trade should be familiar with. As expected, we have noticed a drop in the number of consents related to the new exemptions but it pays to be very clear on when the exemptions apply to your projects. For further information on the exemptions, you can download a copy of 'Building work that does not require building consent' which was released by MBIE.

Under the Building Act, it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure work undertaken is exempt work under Schedule 1. If there are any doubts, the property owner can apply for an assessment of exempt work with the council or apply for building consent. This can alleviate confusion for prospective purchasers when the property owner decides to sell and the work undertaken is not reflected on the property file.
Download Exemption Guidance

When responding to an RFI electronically, please provide full sets of amended documents rather than individual pages. Superseding a complete set of electronic plans and documents is an automated process that can be done quite quickly compared to paper copy or individual pages/files. Otherwise, the processor spends considerable time swapping out individual pages, and these costs will be passed on to the applicant.

All responses must be made to to ensure the RFI is entered into the system appropriately. If the RFI is sent anywhere else (including to the original processor), it may cause unnecessary delays and is outside the correct process.

A reminder that ALL building consent documents are required on site.  There have been instances where inspectors have arrived to undertake an inspection only to find specifications or manufacturers' technical data missing and cannot continue the inspection. Failed inspections are a drain on resources for both parties.
If your building consent has been issued electronically, all documents within the consent pack need to be printed and available to the inspector on-site at the time of inspection.

PS1's issued with a building consent must have a level of construction monitoring nominated on the form. When the level of construction monitoring is greater than CM1, the engineer must provide a schedule of inspections that they wish to undertake with the consent documentation. Expect an RFI if this has not been provided with the application.

Building consents affecting specified systems require the appropriate forms to accompany the building consent application. These forms can be found on our website at the following link. Click here  Applications may be declined at the vetting stage if the compliance schedule forms are not provided or not completed correctly. If you are having trouble completing these forms, ask a professional for help, this can include the IQP or Fire designer/engineer.
Download Specified Systems Forms

All plumbing and drainage work (including minor stormwater drainage) must be completed by a licenced plumber or drain layer.

Work completed under an approved Building Consent must be inspected by Council unless specific written confirmation is given to the owner or owners agent to exempt an inspection. Any exemption must be granted prior to the work being undertaken.
Any work undertaken with Council inspection or an approved exemption is likely to result in work being exposed by contractors to allow for inspection. If Council is not able to confirm compliance with the approved Building Consent a “refuse to issue CCC” is likely to result.

Please book your inspections when you know when your work will be completed. We look forward to working with you to achieve the required outcomes for all parties.

Standards setting the minimum number of car parks for activities will soon be removed from the Rotorua District Plan as part of the implementation of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.  These changes have been proposed by central government to enable urban space to be used for higher-value purposes other than car parking, and remove costs for higher density developments.
However, this does not mean that all activities can be established without consideration of parking issues.  Council will continue to have the discretion to consider road safety issues associated with certain developments and can impose conditions (such as provision of on-site parking or parking management plans) on resource consents where necessary. The District Plan will also continue to set requirements for accessible car parking, turning, and maneuvering, as well as design standards for car parks (when they are provided).
MfE has provided general guidance on the NPS Urban Development and Car Parking.  Please feel free to contact Council’s Resource Consents team concerning specific developments.
Download Car Parking Fact Sheet

Siting of buildings

To prevent any issues when siting buildings on a property, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. 

  • The yard encroachment measurement from a legal boundary is to the closest face of the exterior of the building or structure i.e the cladding.
  • An eave or soffit( projection beyond the exterior cladding) can encroach by a maximum of 0.600mm. This measurement is from the exterior of the building or structure i.e. cladding exterior face to the outer face of the fascia or barge, excluding any spouting. 
  • A survey by a cadastral surveyor will be required to confirm legal boundaries when existing boundary pegs cannot be identified.

The Rotorua District Plan has been restructured to meet the National Planning Standards.  The National Planning Standards require Councils to undertake a number of workstreams to standardise District Plans across the country.  The restructuring of the District Plan is one step in this process.
There should be no changes to the effect of the rules.  However, if you use the District Plan, you will find that the layout of the rules and what information is contained within the various chapters has changed.  We are happy to organise a workshop on the new format specifically for those designers and architects that use the plan, to make it easier to transition to the new format.  If you are interested please contact Kim Smith:
We anticipate that the reformatted District Plan will be live on the Council website within the next three weeks.  Following this, we will have a transition period of approximately 2 months to enable people to transition to the new format (during this transition time resource consent applications will need to refer to new rule numbers but we will be open to discussing this if it is not practical).  This period will also enable any errors or issues to be resolved.
Hei konā mai
Building Services
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