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Developer fined for illegal building modifications

A developer has been fined $12,000 in the Wellington District Court after illegally modifying a Queenstown building without consent.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is responsible for issuing building consent within the district and in the last twelve months has issued more than 1,400 building consents. QLDC is also responsible for ensuring developers comply with building consents through regular building inspections and monitoring. The safety of people in the Queenstown Lakes region is paramount, and Council is committed to taking a hard line against developers who put people unnecessarily at risk.

QLDC Regulatory Manager Anthony Hall said the recent prosecutions show Council is serious about ensuring everyone gains the necessary consent and adheres to the rules. “People deciding to build in a manner that isn’t compliant are acting both illegally and dangerously,” Mr Hall said.

“First and foremost, it’s an issue of safety: when people undertake projects without the appropriate consent they are potentially putting the future inhabitants of their buildings at risk. It is vital that people undertaking building projects have the necessary consents in place before starting any work on site.”

In this recent prosecution the defendants (the company that owned the building and its sole director) both pleaded guilty on 30 August to charges under the Building Act 2004. The charges were brought by the Council because the defendants converted a building consisting of an existing residential unit, storage space and offices into five residential units. The defendants had not obtained the required building consents. All five units were used for visitor accommodation.

Land use rules and consent information for building work can be found on the Council website here: www.qldc.govt.nz/planning


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