Building consent boom for Invercargill

The Invercargill City Council has seen a 50 per cent increase in building consent values compared to the same time last year.

Building Services Manager Brendan Monaghan said between July 1 and October 31, Council received 584 applications valued at $46,056,403, up from 486 applications valued at $29,948,165 during the same period in 2017.

Mr Monaghan said the value of the applications for residential building consents was in line with previous years, but the total value of the consent applications was increased by major commercial developments.

The value of residential building consents applied for was about $19 million, while the value of commercial building consents was $22m, which was unusual, he said. “Usually we see the total value of commercial building consents is about half the value of residential consents applied for.”

There was also an increase in applications for building consents in relation to solid fuel heaters, as people install heating which complies with the Regional Air Plan, Mr Monaghan said.

Meanwhile, Council has commissioned an external review of Building Services, as councils throughout the country experience a shortage in building control officers.

Council Chief Executive Clare Hadley said it was acknowledged industry-wide there was an issue for councils to attract and retain skilled building control staff in the present labour market.

“Across the country, building inspectors are leaving council employment and becoming contractors – seeing the opportunity to earn higher incomes for a period,” Mrs Hadley said.