Carport costs skyrocket
A PILE of paperwork is all Helen Wenley has to show for spending $14,000 on a new carport.
The Epsom resident has spent more than her project budget on reports, fees, experts and tests, and still doesn’t have consent.
“All we’re doing is adding a bit of extra concrete for one car,” she says.
“It’s just a carport. It’s not even a garage.”
The cost spiralled so high Mrs Wenley has now abandoned her plans, leaving her out of pocket by more than $14,000.
“For the whole thing I thought it would be about $12,000 maximum,” she says.
“There are other things we could have spent the money on.”
About half of the cost went to architect’s fees, and the rest paid for tests and experts needed for building consent.
A quantity surveyor was called in to check the size of the area to be concreted, at a cost of $600. Drainage and soak hole testing was carried out, for a further $4400.
The fee for building consent was nearly $2000.
And that’s before the Wenleys have even applied for resource consent, which costs at least $1600 to lodge.
The Ngaroma Rd property is in a residential 2 zone, which means new buildings have to reflect the special character of the landscape.
It’s the same zone where Auckland City Council is considering scrapping herit- age controls for some houses and streets because of a legal challenge.
Mrs Wenley believes there should be protection for Auckland’s heritage housing.
But not at such a high cost to homeowners making minor alterations.
“I’m quite happy to have a carport matching my house so that it looks nice,” she says.
“But why do we have to go through all these convolutions to achieve something that looks nice?”
A council spokeswoman says officers are looking into the case but it was taking some time to investigate.
Councillor Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has made a commitment to respond to the Wenleys by today.
Deputy mayor David Hay says he’s also waiting for a report on the details of the case.
“But on the face of it, it seems totally unreasonable,” he says.
“If this is what heritage protection is going to cost everybody, then it’s gone nuts.”
Mr Hay says he can’t comment on specifics until seeing the report, but it’s being treated seriously.
“It’s certainly a good wakeup call.”
Pricey park: Helen Wenley wanted to put a carport up in front of her existing garage, but abandoned the plans after spending $14,000 just on building consent.