Once you consent has been granted, your application and the consenting documents will be returned to you electronically. You need to print all of the documents on appropriately-sized pages (e.g. to the original scale). This is important because your tradespeople need to build off these plans and Council officers need to inspect the work.
A full set of the stamped approved plans must be available on site when requested. If the plans are not on site the inspection will not be undertaken.
Before starting work, you must read any conditions on your building consent. There are five conditions that can be imposed on a building consent, they are:
Waiver or Modification (s.67)
If Council grants approval to a building consent which is subject to a waiver or modification, the building consent may be subject to any condition that the Council deems appropriate.
Natural Hazards (s.72)
If your building consent is affected by a natural hazard such as flooding or erosion, Council may only grant that consent so long as the building work will not accelerate, worsen or result in another hazard on that land. Additionally, the Council must as a condition of granting the building consent, notify the Registrar General of Land, and ensure a notice is placed on the certificate of title identifying the hazard. See more on natural hazards.
Building on one or more allotments (s.75)
If you are building over one or more allotments, the Council must impose a condition on the building consent that the specified allotment will not be transferred or leased except in conjunction with the other allotments. This condition is required to be notified to the Registrar General of Land, who will place a notice on the certificate of title of each of the affected allotments recording this condition.
Inspections by the BCA (s.90)
Every building consent is subject to a condition that agents authorised by the BCA are entitled at all times during normal working hours or while building work is being done, to inspect the building work.
Specified intended life (s.113)
Most building consents have an intended specified life of not less than 50 years. If a building consent has a specified intended life of less than 50 years, the Council will impose a condition requiring the building to be altered, removed or demolished on or before the end of its specified intended life.
There may be other restrictions, such as the requirement to obtain a resource consent. In this case a notice will be attached to your building consent (Form 4), explaining this.
If your building project also requires resource consent, we will attach documentation to your building consent advising of this requirement. Just because we have granted building consent does not mean you can commence building. You will need to obtain resource consent before you can start work.
It may be possible to start construction prior to obtaining resource consent, however you will have to negotiate with and gain approval from the planners.
Notify us of LBPs
If your project involves restricted building work, you must notify us which LBPs will be doing the work (if that was not shown on the application). You and your contractors must read, understand and comply with the requirements of the building consent.
If your building work involves new connections to our wastewaster, stormwater and/or water services, you will need to apply for and pay fees for these connections.
Your building consent documentation includes a list of all the inspections required at various stages of your building project. These can include inspections of the foundations, framing and insulation, plumbing, drainage, and claddings and flashings. You’re responsible for ensuring that all the inspections are completed and approved. Without these approvals your Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) may be refused. You must have your approved plans and other documents on site at all times.
How long do I have to start work?
If building work does not start within 12 months of the date that the building consent was issued, the consent will lapse and has no effect. This means you will need to apply for a new consent. If you’re likely to need an extension, please complete the Extension of Time application form before your consent lapses.
A CCC is a document issued by the BCA (Council) which confirms that all building work has been completed and complies with the building consent. The CCC is an important document and should be kept safe. It is significant for on-selling your property and insurance purposes.
As soon as the building work is complete, the owner must submit an application. If the building work includes energy works e.g. gas or electrical work an energy work certificate will be required. If the project involves restricted building work, you’ll also need to provide a Record of Building Work from each licensed building practitioner.
After you have applied for a CCC, we will assess the information you have provided together with your inspection records. Council has 20 working days in which to decide whether to issue a CCC. If your application is received after 2pm, the clock starts the next working day. The clock may be stopped if further information is required. All information must be provided in order for the clock to restart. Failure to provide the requested information within the 20 working day timeframe may result in your application being refused.
Once we have carried out a final inspection and completed a desktop assessment of all of the inspections carried out together with any supporting documentation such as producer statements, records of work, energy works certificates, as-built plans, minor variations and amendments we can determine whether we are satisfied on reasonable grounds that all work has been completed in accordance with the building consent. If this is the case, we can issue CCC.
If we decide to refuse the CCC, we must provide reasons. For example, we can refuse the CCC if energy works certificates have not been provided or the building work does not comply with the consented plans.
If an application for CCC is not made within two years of the date that the consent was granted, we are obliged to determine whether we can issue the CCC. If you have not applied for a CCC we will make contact with you at this time. If the building work is not complete, you can seek an extension of time. One extension of time for a maximum of 12 months will be considered.
If your building is multi-unit residential, industrial or commercial, your CCC will be issued with a Compliance Schedule. This covers the maintenance, inspection and reporting requirements for any ‘specified systems’ in the building. Examples of specified systems include, but are not limited to, emergency lighting or automatic fire-suppression systems, back flow prevention devices, lifts and signage.
All fees and charges for inspections and CCC are paid with your building consent. However, if your project has exceeded the anticipated number of inspections, an invoice will be generated for additional costs. This is payable before a CCC will be issued.
If you want to change your building plans after we have approved your building consent you will need to apply for an amendment using Form 2 and send us plans which clearly depict the changes. You will need to complete an Application Form for Amendment to Building Consent (Form 2). If the amendment is likely to affect your building work, an inspection block may be put in place until the amendment is approved and uplifted.
If the building work to which the amendment relates is undertaken before the amendment process is completed (approved and uplifted) council cannot approve the amendment. In this case the building work would be treated as unconsented building work and you would need to make an application for a Certificate of Acceptance.
If the change is not significantly different from the approved building consent plans and specifications, you can submit an application for a minor variation to the Building Inspector. You will need to complete a minor variation application form attaching relevant documents. Examples of a minor variation include:
- substituting similar products (e.g. one internal lining for a similar internal lining minor wall bracing changes)
- minor construction change (e.g. changing the framing method used around a window)
- changing a room's layout (e.g.re-positioning fixtures in a bathroom)
Building inspectors may approve minor variations on site but please ensure the minor variation application form has been completed in full before the inspector arrives on the site. We follow the minor variations process recommended in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Guide to Building Consent Amendments.
If you undertake building work without a building consent, you are in breach of section 40 of the Building Act 2004. The penalties include fines of up to $200,000 and $20,000 every day the breach is ongoing. Alternatively, council can issue an Infringement notice or seek to have the unauthorised work removed. Obviously, this can become expensive and could impact your ability to sell or insure your property.
If we discover that you’re building without consent, we may issue you with a Notice to Fix, which means you may have to:
- apply for a building consent or an amendment to an existing building consent, or
- apply for a Certificate of Acceptance, which is a statement from us that the work you’ve done complies with the New Zealand Building Code, or
- stop the building work straight away, and not start again without our permission.
If the building work does not start within 12 months after your consent has been issued, your consent will lapse and be of no affect. This will mean you need to apply for a new consent for the work. If you’re likely to need an extension, you can make an application for an extension of time (fees apply); however you must contact us before your consent lapses. The decision to lapse the consent is not council's; it is a requirement of the Building Act and cannot be reversed.
If an application for a CCC has not been made within two years of the consent being granted, Council must decide if a CCC can be issued. If you anticipate that you'll need more time to complete the building, you can complete an extension of time application for Building Consents form. Please get in touch – we can talk through the extension application process. Fees apply.