Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Age of Consent

Next to buying our land, getting building consent is the biggest hurdle to our
new home, so far.

Our checkered flag - the Building Consent documents from the Council.

The South Wairarapa District Council have a reputation for being one of the most pedantic and exacting in the entire country when it comes to granting building consent. It’s rumoured that some people have even preferred to move elsewhere rather than jump through the endless succession of hoops which our local body will hold between you and a constructing a new home.

Apparently the consent process for the building of a new home takes 20 working days, but ‘the clock is stopped’ every time an ‘RFI’ (request for further information) is received, and the SWDC being what they are, RFI’s are inevitable.
We went into this adventure with the above information very much in mind, and steeled ourselves to expect the very worst. We were prepared for delays, but our builder, Dean, was aching to start, his own schedule making this week a perfect time for him to begin actual construction.
Meanwhile, the company responsible for drafting our plans also deal directly with the council during the consent process, and we were advised last week that an initial set of RFI’s had been dealt with. Surely consent was due any day now?

Dean paid a visit to the council on Monday, hoping to force a resolution but came away feeling more than a little frustrated. Apparently a final issue delaying things was ‘something to do with our shower head’ (at this point the councils reputation was becoming justified) but the only person who could tell him exactly what that issue was wouldn’t be back until Thursday.

It is now Friday and I’m thrilled to write that a major obstacle has been cleared and consent was granted yesterday, just a few working days over the 20 we were warned to expect. It seems the last issue was something to do with a concern about water splashing from the shower; the honking great glass screen we’ve specified from the beginning apparently not being clear enough on the floor plan.
Dean can now go ahead and pour concrete for our house piles – weather gods permitting, the build begins at last.

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