Building Consent Process

Lodging application

You should lodge your application to Timaru District Council, PO Box 522, Timaru 7940, with the appropriate application form(s).

Checking application for completeness (vetting)

The application will be initially checked to see if there is sufficient information to fully process your application. If not, you will be required to provide further information before the application is accepted for processing.

The approval process (detailed checking of plans and supporting documents, checking by other units and authorities)

The Council is required to issue the Building Consent within a statutory 20 working day timeframe, once the consent has been accepted for processing. If it is a Multi Proof Approval then the issue of the Building Consent is required to be within 10 working days.

The plans will be assessed to ensure they comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

Within this period other areas of Council other than the Building Unit may assess the project for compliance with various legislative requirements such as the Timaru District Plan, Resource Management Act, Fire Service Act, Historic Places Act, Council Bylaws etc. These Units are Planning; Water, Drainage and Trade Waste; Roading; Environmental Health and Dangerous Goods. This depends on the scope of the project. If you propose to undertake an internal alteration it would not be assessed by other Units unless it was an Historic or Heritage Building. However, all new buildings/dwellings or building/dwelling extensions will require assessment by other units.

External Contractors

Dependent on workloads, from time to time the processing team will send Building Consents (electronically) to remote contractors that the Building Unit have carefully selected and vetted for this process.

These contractors are able to log into the Timaru District Council system and process plans no differently to full time employees currently working in the Building Unit

Fire Design Review Unit (DRU)

Does your application need to be reviewed by the NZ Fire Service Design Review Unit?

Under Section 46 of the Building Act the BCA is required to send certain applications to the New Zealand Fire Service Design Review Unit (DRU) for review under the Fire Service Act. Where this occurs the DRU have 10 working days in which to provide their feedback / memorandum to the BCA.

The memorandum issued by the DRU will set out their advice in regard to provisions for means of escape from fire and the needs of persons who are authorised by law to enter the building to undertake fire-fighting.

Types of applications that are required to be send are detailed at

Requests for further information (application suspended)

Should Council require further information the application will be suspended until that information is provided. A "stop the clock" system is used during the suspension to keep track of the 20 working day time period. This allows the 20 day clock to stop when the information is requested and to start again when the complete information is received.

Granting/refusing consent

Council may decide to refuse or grant the consent.

Once the plans have been assessed and they do comply with the New Zealand Building Code, a PIM (if this has been applied for and not already issued) and an invoice are prepared. The "stop the clock" is actioned and is not lifted until the invoice has been paid. When the invoice has been paid, the approved plans may be uplifted and the building consent is issued.

Work shall not proceed until the building consent and approved plans have been uplifted (and provided you are not awaiting a Resource Consent from either Timaru District Council or Environment Canterbury).