All new buildings, building additions, demolition, plumbing and drainage and alterations require a building consent. This is the process for ensuring buildings are built to the New Zealand Building Code and regulatory standards, that they are safe for occupation and their intended use, and that they have adequate plumbing, water, sewerage and other essential facilities.
Each year the Marlborough District Council receives over 2,600 applications for building consents, a quarter of them for commercial buildings and three quarters relating to residences. Several hundred consents are for new homes, the rest are for additions, alterations, garages, log fires and other work.
Council building staff provide a 20 working day turnaround from application receipt to issue of a building consent. Achieving this will depend on the quality and content of the documentation submitted. Most applications for residential building consents include plans and specifications from architects and architectural designers, or others proficient in drawing plans. It is always a good practice to use a professional designer as the application process is very technical and can be frustrating for non professionals. Note: for all residential work the design work must be carried out by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP).
The list of documents and information required to be provided with building consent applications is in the application check list. The application check list must be lodged with the application.
A Project Information Memorandum (PIM) is a document that lists all Council requirements for a project and we recommend that you apply for this before you apply for a building consent.
The building consent fees for a home costing $150,000 are around $2,025 depending on the number of inspections required and the project location.
Expect seven to 10 inspections for most dwellings. Travelling costs are added. There may be various other costs included in the total and other items, such as stormwater, water and sewer connections can be added to the fees.
After the work is completed, and the building consents inspection process and all work has been seen to comply with the New Zealand Building Code, and after all fees have been paid, the Council issues a Code Compliance Certificate.
A building consent cannot be issued retrospectively. This means any building work carried out without a consent is illegal. It may make subsequent sale of the property difficult if the prospective purchaser obtains a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) from the Council which shows that no consents were obtained.
The Council can seek the demolition of illegal work and may prosecute the owner or the person who did the work. A Certificate of Acceptance may apply to some buildings.
If you have any questions about the fees, building consent process, or any other building planning matter, see the frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer, call Council's Customer Services Centre.