Building consent boom for Invercargill
Invercargill is experiencing a building consent boom.
The Invercargill City Council building services manager Brendan Monaghan said there had been a 50 per cent increase in building consent values compared with the same time last year.
Between July 1 and October 31, the council received 584 applications valued at $46,056,403, up from 486 applications valued at $29,948,165 during the same period last year.
The value of the applications for residential building consents of about $19 million was in line with previous years, but the total value of commercial consents of $22m was unusual, he said.
‘‘Usually we see the total value of commercial building consents is about half the value of residential consents applied for.’’
Russell Cunningham Properties general manager Vicki Corkill, whose company is developing the Invercargill Business Park, said the timing of consents could be a factor, citing the Kmart development as a recent example.
‘‘Timing is a factor but I would like to think that Invercargill feels optimistic and will be continuing with growth.
‘‘Obviously consents are going to go through the roof when the CBD development starts.’’
There was also an increase in applications for building consents in relation to solid fuel heaters, as people installed heating which complied with the Regional Air Plan,
‘‘. . . consents are going to go through the roof when the CBD development starts.’’ Russell Cunningham Properties general manager Vicki Corkill
Meanwhile, the council has responded to a nationwide shortage of building control officers by commissioning an external review of building services.
Chief executive Clare Hadley said it was acknowledged industrywide that there was an issue for councils in attracting and retaining skilled building control staff in the present labour market.
‘‘Across the country, building inspectors are leaving council employment and becoming contractors – seeing the opportunity to earn higher incomes for a period.’’
This meant Invercargill City Council was considering investing in technology to assist in processing consent applications, and looking at different software to enable electronic lodgement of building consents.
The external review should identify options for improvements to the council’s approach to processing and inspections, and provide guidance on how to use various strategies to increase resources available to building services, she said.
It is expected the external review will be completed by the end of November.