Car­port costs sky­rocket

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

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.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

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.

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