NZ Urban Development news from the media | 26 May | Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents


Hi *|FNAME|*, Please find below Urban Development News from the media from the week of 26 May 2020.

Provided by Rockhopper Development Advisory, a member of:                             

Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker on larger projects to provide jobs and assist the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

The Government is introducing new exemptions to the Building Act in a move save homeowners $18 million in consenting costs each year, though building work must still meet the Building Code, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa announced today.

“These changes will save New Zealanders time and money and mean councils can focus on higher-risk building work, boosting the building and construction sector in the COVID-19 recovery,” Jenny Salesa said.

“Single-storey detached buildings up to 30 square metres – such as sleep-outs, sheds and greenhouses; carports; awnings; water storage bladders and others will now not require a Council-approved building consent, which will result in 9000 fewer consents to process a year.

New concept design endorsed for Takapuna town square

Takapuna locals can now visualise how their future town square will look after the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board endorsed the concept design at its meeting on 19 May. Now, people will be able to give their feedback to help refine the details of the design.

In the future, the town square will be a place where people can come together to meet and relax, children can play and celebrations can be held. The design is the result of local feedback and expert master-planning which will give Takapuna a new heart.

Extensive feedback has been included in the design from the local community, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and other key stakeholders between 2017 - 2018. The much-debated location and shape of the town square was decided in 2018, following feedback in over 5300 submissions.

Covid-19 delays Ngāti Whātua's 550-residence project

Pandemic lockdowns have delayed plans for a 550-residence development.

Ngāti Whātua is marketing the remaining seven of its first 13 new North Shore homes on Rutherford St off Eversleigh Rd but its chief revealed delays in finishing and bringing in buyers during alert levels 3 and 4.

"These past two months have presented challenging times throughout the country. We couldn't take people through and building work stopped," said general manager Neil Donnelly of the project, now resumed under alert level 2.

Fletcher to lay off 1000 Kiwis, 500 Australians as part of business reset

New Zealand's biggest builder says it plans to lay off around 1000 staff in New Zealand, equating to around 10 per cent of its workforce, and has slashed capital expenditure in response to Covid-19.

Fletcher Building announced the move this morning while also updating the market on its outlook for activity, including an expected 30 per cent drop in residential building consents.

Shares in the manufacturer, builder and distributor were this morning trading around $3.34, down 6c today but a big drop from the $5.46 the company was trading at on the NZX last May.

Chief executive Ross Taylor said the layoffs were about resetting the business for the future.

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