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Upcoming exemptions to Building Act

3 Jun 2020

Upcoming exemptions to Building Act

Consents newsletter

New exemptions to the Building Act will allow more work to be undertaken without a building consent but Tairāwhiti residents are reminded that any building work must still comply with the Resource Management Act.

Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres without any plumbing – such as sleep-outs, sheds, greenhouses, carports and awnings will now not require a council-approved building consent.

Some of the exemptions, however, are only allowable if they are carried out by a Licenced Building Practitioner or designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).

The changes are intended to make low-risk building projects less costly, while also boosting the construction sector and assist the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

Council’s building service manager Ian Petty says the new discretions do not detract from Building Code obligations.

“Those carrying out building work also have a responsibility to comply with Resource Management Act rules in the zone the property is situated. Before work commences, it is advised to check with Council’s duty planner to ensure the building complies with boundary distances, height recession plane rules (shading) and the allowable site coverage,” he says.

“It can be costly to go through the resource consent process to legalise an incorrectly sited building, or, in the worst case, to have to remove it.

“The disposal of stormwater is also something that can cause problems in Gisborne, particularly in the Kaiti area. People erecting exempt buildings after August will need to convey the stormwater off their properties to a council service.”

Most of the new exemptions are expected to commence at the end of August, but some will be later after the necessary changes to the Building Act have been made.

It is expected the changes could save building owners nationwide up to $18million a year in consenting costs.

An overview of the new exemptions can be viewed here(external link)