Building consent fees are charged on a per square metre rate basis – and that has given people more certainty when they are planning building projects.
Under the old structure, which relied on time tracking and billing by the hour, it was difficult for applicants to estimate the cost of building fees when planning a project. The fees are now based on the floor area affected. For example, if a wall is removed, the areas of the rooms on both sides of the demolished wall will be used to calculate the fee.
Building Services Manager Brendan Monaghan said with this system there are no surprises as the published fees should be exactly what applicants are charged.
The published fee captured the staff time required to process an application and applicants would not incur a monetary penalty for failing one inspection. However, if an application received a second request for information, or should an application fail a second inspection for the same stage of the construction, additional fees would be charged. The charging of an extra fee for work above that considered in the initial cost would allow Council to recoup the true cost of processing the application and ensures that ratepayers were not subsidising development.
Mr Monaghan said most building consent applications would be subject to a minimum fee of $110 and a maximum fee of $22,000. The exception would be construction projects with an estimated construction value greater than $3 million, where a flat rate of 0.8% of the construction value would be charged.
The fee structure came into force on July 1, 2012.