Time runs out for consents
New regulations have seen the numbers of wood burner consents skyrocket in Ashburton this year, but Selwyn has stayed the course as it is under a different rule-set.
Under new Environment Canterbury clean air regulations, residents in the Ashburton Clean Air Zone were given until October 31 to lodge any needed consent for a low emission wood burner. Any consents lodged after that date would need to be for an ultra-low emission model.
The Ashburton District Council (ADC) issued 138 consents for wood burners last month, and had 242 applications still to process following an influx of applications that were lodged before the deadline.
The Selwyn district, under Region Wide (‘Outside of a Clean Air Zone’) regulations, only required that any wood burner consented met the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality and had no deadline on consents for low emission burners.
ADC building services manager Michael Wong said the cutoff date had seen council staff inundated with applications, particularly with last minute entries as the deadline loomed.
‘‘On Monday and Tuesday (Oct 30 and 31) alone, we received 154 applications. Compared with 2016, where we issued 360 consents between January and October, this year we’ll have issued around 750, which really puts things into perspective.
‘‘We have been kept incredibly busy processing these applications, and we still have plenty to do in the coming weeks,’’ Wong said.
Those who received or applied for a consent by October 31 had one year to begin installation and another year to compete the work. Once done, council would inspect the work, issuing a certificate of compliance if the wood burner met the standard.
A Selwyn District Council spokesman said peak consenting numbers for new burners were generally in April or May each year. He said that unlike Ashburton, there had been no obvious increase in numbers this year. In 2016 there were 394 wood burner consents issued, either for low emission or ultra-low emission models.
This year between January and October there had been 315 consents issued, 10 of those in October, with six more to process.