By December 2018 building consents were up 18% on 2017 with Hutt City Council issuing 1500 consents. Council had also received 529 resource consent applications up almost 45% on 2017 with many for new buildings such as multi-unit dwellings and new housing subdivisions. For December alone 65% more applications were received compared to the same time the previous year for processing by Council staff.
Hutt City Council’s Helen Oram who heads up the consents team says the number of consents being submitted is a strong indicator of economic growth.
“Building activity is good news for our economy. An upswing in consents indicates our population is growing, and that more jobs in the building and construction industry are being generated. This has a significant positive impact on people’s income and spending.”
As well as a rise in consents, Hutt City Council has also experienced an upswing in the volume of requests for building inspections.
“There have been increases across all areas of development activity particularly planning and building inspections. Issued code compliance certificates have increased by 36% to 1260. The number of building inspections has also increased substantially compared to 2017 with almost 5,600 inspections undertaken. This provides people with certainty when they buy in Lower Hutt that our building stock has been verified as meeting the requirements of the Building Act,” says Helen Oram.
General Manager of the City Transformation Team Kim Kelly says the increase in building activity is consistent with Council’s plans to increase the number of dwellings in the city with a goal of building 6000 new dwellings between 2012 and 2032. Council is doing this through a combination of greenfield development – expanding housing into areas that aren’t currently developed – and intensification, which involves building housing in existing areas.
Another way Hutt City Council has encouraged housing and other development is through its Development Charges and Rates Remission Policy which finished in December. Developments that qualified were remitted the usual resource consent and building consent fees, development contributions, reserves contributions and in some cases, rates they would normally pay.
“The initiative has been hugely successful with 55 applications in the 2017-2018 financial year for 405 new dwellings and 9 commercial developments. Since July this year a further 104 new applications have been received and we’re expecting a number of large commercial and residential developments soon. All up, that means it’s likely an additional 1535 new dwellings will be built within the next 2-3 years which is good news for Lower Hutt,” says Kim Kelly.
Pictured above: Phil Boyle Hutt City Council Building Officer inspecting a new build by Hamish McNeil from McNeil Construction in Lower Hutt.