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Building Consent Process

Lodging application

You can lodge your application to Timaru District Council either via our online system or in hard copy. Hard copies can be delivered to the Timaru main office or to the Temuka and Geraldine service centers. If posting please address to, The Building Unit PO Box 522, Timaru 7940, with the appropriate application form(s).

Checking application for completeness (vetting)

The application will be initially checked (Vetted) 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.

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 & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)

Some consent applications will need to be reviewed by Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Under Section 46 of the Building Act 2004 the BCA is required to send certain applications to Fire & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) to review and provide advice relating to "means of escape from fire" and "the needs of persons who are authorised to to enter the building to undertake fire-fighting". Where this occurs the FENZ have 10 working days in which to provide their advice / memorandum to the BCA.

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

Requests for further information (RFI's)

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 to Grant consent

Council may decide to grant your consent or refuse to grant your consent.

Once the plans and specifications have been assessed and they comply with the New Zealand Building Code, this is what is referred to as "satisfied on reasonable grounds", the application is granted and the 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 in full. When the invoice has been paid, the approved plans may be uplifted and the building consent is issued.

Some building consents may include conditions. These conditions could relate to the specified intended life of the building eg - 25 years instead of 50 years or relate to the effects of natural hazards, eg - erosion, falling debris, subsidence, inundation (flooding) or slippage. Please ensure that you read the consent documents to make sure you are aware of these conditions, if applicable.

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).

Publish Date: 28 Mar 2014