Con­sents rise puts pres­sure on

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Peo­ple want­ing build­ing con­sents and in­spec­tions can ex­pect de­lays due to a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant in­crease’’ in the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions be­ing pro­cessed in Cen­tral Otago.

In its quar­terly re­port, the Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil warns of the in­crease of build­ing con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions af­fect­ing pro­cess­ing times and build­ing in­spec­tions go­ing for­ward.

‘‘To as­sist in re­liev­ing the issue, we have em­ployed an ad­di­tional build­ing con­trol of­fi­cer who is based in the Cromwell office.’’

Fig­ures for the last quar­ter (April 1 to June 30), show 297 build­ing con­sents were is­sued at a value of $33,746,813.

‘‘The num­ber of con­sents re­ceived in this quar­ter was up 33 per cent and the value had an in­crease of 52.2 per cent when com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.’’

Due to in­creased in­ter­est in prop­erty de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion, staff were also man­ag­ing greater work­loads deal­ing with cus­tomer in­quiries, in­clud­ing Land In­for­ma­tion Me­moran­dums (LIM) reports and prop­erty in­quiries, the re­port says.

For the 2016 quar­ter, 266 LIM reports were com­pleted, up 33 per cent from the 2015 quar­ter.

Cromwell has ex­pe­ri­enced the great­est num­ber of re­source con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions, with 143 for the last quar­ter to the value of $24.4m. Of those, 54 con­sents were for new dwellings worth $18.6m. The Vin­cent Ward - which in­cludes the Alexan­dra, Earn­scle­ugh and Manuherikia wards - had 109 re­source con­sents pro­cessed to the value of $7.5m. Of those, 17 were for new dwellings to the value of $5.5.m. The Man­iototo and Te­viot Val­ley had 26 and 17 con­sents pro­cessed re­spec­tively.

Cromwell-based de­vel­oper Dave Hor­ton, whose com­pany Hor­ton De­vel­op­ments Ltd started the Gair Es­tate de­vel­op­ment in 2005, fol­lowed by The Rise de­vel­op­ment, said in 2006 sec­tions were sell­ing as fast as they were put on the mar­ket, but then ‘‘the lights went off’’.

‘‘You couldn’t sell any­thing. You couldn’t give any­thing away.’’

In about Novem­ber 2015, the mar­ket came back and prices had com­pletely changed. Sec­tions that once might have sold for $150,000 to $160,000 - if that - were now sell­ing for well into the $200,000s, he said.

‘‘It is to the point you can’t even buy a sec­tion be­cause there is noth­ing for sale.’’

Sec­tions within Gair Es­tate had sold within three months and the ti­tles were ex­pected to come out at the start of Septem­ber, he said.

‘‘Peo­ple are ea­ger to get started...You only have to look at Sum­mer­fields Es­tate and count 12 to 15 houses un­der con­struc­tion.’’

Cromwell premier rugby play­ers pose for photos fol­low­ing their 21-18 win over Man­iototo in the Cen­tral Otago fi­nal at Molyneux Park, Alexan­dra on Satur­day. It is the first time Cromwell has fin­ished on top in the com­pe­ti­tion since 1981 and the first time it has won a fi­nal since 1970. Full story and photos, page 26.

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