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NPDC Slashing Fees Helps Building Sector Get Back On Its Feet

A new record for building consents in the July to September quarter has been set as NPDC’s $20 million Back On Our Feet Covid stimulus measures help to keep the building sector humming.

There was a 28% rise in the number of building consents lodged with 600 applications in July to September this year compared with 432 for the same time last year. Some 277 applicants benefited from the axing of fees to the tune of $150k as part of the $1.3m package to cut the cost of doing business.

Figures for last month also show the highest ever total value of proposed building works at nearly $77m compared to an average monthly figure of around $28m in 2019.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom said there had been a lot of positive feedback from a range of local businesses about the cuts in fees and charges.

“We listened to nearly 1,000 pieces of public feedback before finalising our Back On Our Feet package as we wanted to help as much as possible and support the Central Government led stimulus. These buoyant building consent figures show businesses are getting back to work and we’re thrilled to have helped more than 270 local firms as we continue the Covid fight,” says Mayor Holdom.

Climate and Plumbing managing director Sam Tyson says the cut in fees has helped them get a number of jobs over the line and they were even using the reduced fees as a sales tool.

“Cutting the fees has been a boost for the company and has certainly helped the wood fires side of our business. We’re encouraging people to act now while the fees are waived. Combined with the Home Energy Scheme, the Council’s measures are great news to help with the economic recovery,” says Sam.

As well as the cuts in fees and charges, NPDC’s $20 million Back On Our Feet package includes:

· $8m in rates relief with the deferment of payments for six months or a year.

· $7.5m to expand the Home Energy Scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener.

· $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups.

· $165,000 for small and medium businesses via Venture Taranaki SME grant

· $90,000 community and commercial rent relief.

· $50,000 to help buildings owners keep main street properties looking good.

· Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works.

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