However, other areas could make it much easier for all – even Council
From Auckland Council:
Council working to improve consent services
As it tackles an unprecedented building boom, Auckland Council is already looking at new ways to improve building consent processes with aims of speeding approvals, reducing costs and ensuring consistency.
“A near 12 per cent increase in building consent applications and over 130,000 building inspections is the present reality as we review the demands on our regulatory services,” said regulatory director Penny Pirrit.
Already underway are plans to tailor processes according to the complexity of the consent with simple applications, such as carports and garaging being turned around in five days to a set fee, subject to a quality application.
“We’re looking at a service from a perspective of a customer experience. It’s not just about speed and costs but the quality of service and consistency of decisions,” said Penny Pirrit.
Online consent applications are already being trialled with some customers as the programme develops, speeding up approvals and reducing costs for both the customer and the council.
Additionally, the council is training staff and professional groups in better practices.
“The quality of the application is a primary requirement to achieving speed and reduced costs,” said Penny Pirrit. “One of the big challenges we face is the poor quality of some applications, causing delays as we seek further information.
“Having all the information required at the start is key to a successful and timely outcome and that’s where pre-application meetings with council staff can assist applicants.”
While applicants can do their part making sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted with consents the Council can equally help through its planning rules like the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.
Having to have applicants and the resource consent planners jumping fewer and less complex planning rules to start with would be even a bigger step into speeding consents up (and getting the paper work filled out much easier). Planning rules should give a basic frame work of what is allowed and not allowed in a particular zone. Not a microscopic line by line detail of everything an anything you can not do in that zone on your site as legacy Plans and the PAUP allow (or will allow).
So do us a favour Council and slim that rule book down. Makes life easy for you and makes life certainly a lot easier for consent applicants!