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New information packs

New information packs making consents process easier for applicants

People applying for building or land use consent in North Shore City can expect a speedier service if they follow the instructions in the council ' s new information packs and file the right paperwork with their consent applications.

Information packs for building consents and land use consents are now available from the council and are designed to help people provide the right information with their consent application at the start of the process, saving everyone time and money.

The general manager of environmental services, Alison Geddes, says councils have been criticised over the years for how long it takes to process consents and how cumbersome the process is for customers.

" When we analysed where the hold-ups were a lot of it came down to the quality of the information we were receiving with applications. In a large number of cases we were having to send applicants away, often more than once, to get more detailed information, which slows the process down considerably, " says Ms Geddes.

" Building projects can often be complex depending on what people want to do and where, and the respective Building Code and District Plan requirements. Our new information packs have a series of checklists and leaflets developed to make it easier for people to identify and understand what they can do and the information they need to supply to do it, " says Ms Geddes.

The information packs are a continuation of North Shore City ' s express building consents service, where consents for certain building projects valued under $500,000 can, if all the right information is provided, be processed while applicants wait and usually within two hours.

" We have had excellent feedback from the public about our efforts to help speed up and streamline the consents process. For example, in May 2001, we processed 57 per cent of building consents within the 10-day statutory timeframe. By comparison, in January this year 92 per cent were processed in that time and 64 per cent of those were processed in less than two days.

" Early indications are that the information packs are working and are helping improve this turnaround even further, " says Ms Geddes.

North Shore City Council ' s regulatory and hearings committee chairperson, Wyn Hoadley, says the new consent information packs and the express building consent process demonstrate the council ' s continued commitment to improving service in this area.

" We started making huge improvements with the centralisation of consent services at Environmental Services in Takapuna, and if we can continue this by helping customers get all the right information together first time, making the whole process less cumbersome, so much the better for everyone, " says Councillor Hoadley.

The Resource Land Use consents application and information pack includes checklists for consent application requirements, site plan requirements, protected tree requirements and engineering requirements, among others.

The Residential Building consent application and information pack includes information sheets on weathertightness and the use of cladding systems and code compliance certificate requirements.

The new building consent and land use consent packs are available free from all council area offices, can be requested by calling Actionline on 486 8600 or can be viewed online via the council ' s website http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

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