"Now that warmer weather is approaching many people will be planning on getting started on odd jobs around the house" says Leigh Sage, head of Building Services. "When you are considering doing some building work, it's wise to contact council to find out if you need consent".
Building work cannot be started until a building consent is granted, so thinking ahead is vital to ensure that your DIY is legal. Regardless of whether work requires a building consent or not, it must still comply with the NZ building code. Work that requires a building consent includes:
- Structural work, be it additions, alterations, re-piling, or demolition
- Plumbing and drainage
- Relocating a building
- Installing a solid fuel or oil fired heating unit
- Building retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres, or those subject to a building/vehicle loading surcharge due to the wall supporting a load on top of it
- Fences or walls higher than 2.5 metres
- Swimming pools (including spa pools) and their compulsory fences
- Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level, and
- Sheds greater than 10 square metres in floor area.
"The general rule of thumb around needing a building consent is 'yes you do' - however there are some exceptions, and that's why it's best to talk to us first". Even though some work may not require a building consent, it may need planning permission, or vice-versa.
Every day between 10:30am and 3pm Council has a building and a planning officer available in the Customer Services Centre on The Square. These staff can talk you through what's needed, what you need to consider, and help with your application.
The Palmerston North City Council follows statutory requirements to process building consents within 20 days.