Processing building consents

The Council has 20 working days (10 working days for multiproof applications) from the date the application is formally received for processing, to decide whether to grant, or refuse to grant, the building consent. (Note: when “formally received”, the processing clock starts).

Once the application has been checked for completeness, a Building Officer will assess your application to ensure the plans and specifications comply with the minimum requirements of the building code - this is called processing the application.

Note: your application will be checked by a number of areas in the Council depending on the nature of the work. The various areas that can be involved include:

  • Building (including plumbing and drainage)
  • Compliance with the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP)
  • Planning check
  • Hazardous materials; health
  • Trade waste
  • Engineering services
  • Geotechnical and external specialists, e.g.fire engineers, acoustic and mechanical services engineers

Requests for further information

If there are any questions or concerns regarding compliance with the Building Code, you will receive a letter (by email or post) requesting further information or clarification. The 20-day clock is suspended until this information is provided.

To reduce the time required deal with requests for further information, responses must be lodged at a meeting with a Building Officer (where possible with the Building Officer who raised the RFI's).  Please book an appointment by phoning our Customer Service Centre on 03 546 0200.

If the relevant information is there in full, including any issues that are easy to fix, the RFI response will be accepted on the spot there and then.

If all the relevant information cannot be supplied, customers will be advised what is needed and another time will be booked to resubmit the information.

Granting and issuing the consent

The building consent authority will grant a building consent once it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the provisions of the building code will be met if the building work is properly completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

The building consent authority is not required to grant the consent until the charge fixed for the consent and the building levy are both paid.

If the building consent is refused, the building consent authority must write to the applicant and state the reasons. This must be done within the 20 working day time frame.

Work must not being on the project until a building consent has been granted and issued.

Building consent conditions

Conditions may be imposed on the building consent to ensure compliance with the Building Act. It is very important that you (and your contractors) read the building consent documentation to ensure you are clear about these requirements. The documentation will contain a list of inspections required to be undertaken by Council staff during the construction process.

If specialist inspections are required, these will be agreed to between Council and the applicant during the consent process. Specialist inspections (typically engineering disciplines), will generally mean that a producer statement will be required.

Specified intended life

If a consent is granted with a specified intended life of less than 50 years, the consent will specify certain conditions that must be complied with at the end of the specified life (e.g. alteration, demolition or removal).  The owner of a building with a specified intended life must not extend its life without the written consent of the territorial authority (Nelson City Council).

Restrictions on starting work

Applicants must check that there are no resource management issues outstanding. In some circumstances a building consent may be issued with a “Section 37” certificate attached. This certificate prohibits work commencing until resource management issues have been resolved. The reasons for any restrictions will be identified on the attached certificate.

How long is a building consent valid?

Work must start on your project within 12 months of the date the building consent was issued. If we have not been contacted to undertake any inspections before then, we will send you a letter advising you that the building consent will lapse at the expiry of the 12-month period. You may decide not do the work, in which case the consent will lapse, or you may apply for an extension of time to start the work. Extensions of time are considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests for an extension of time must be made on the appropriate form and be received before the expiry date.

If we do not hear from you within the stated time the consent will lapse and have no effect.

Note

Note that Council processes building consents electronically.  Your issued building consent will be provided to you electronically on a USB stick.  If you would prefer to receive your consented documents on paper, please advise Council when submitting your application (note that there will be additional costs incurred for printing).

Consented documents must be printed and available on-site at all times during construction.

Cost

The total cost depends on the type of application, cost of work involved, and the level of detail provided. The quality of information provided at the time of application will also affect the overall fees. See building consent fees and charges for more information.

Next step

Building consent inspections and certification