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Close-down period for consents teams over Christmas: Council advises people to factor this in

Waikato District Council reminds customers to factor in the statutory close-down period for its consents teams.

Council offices are open until 3pm on 23 December and reopen on 4 January, however there is a  close-down period from 20 December to 10 January for building and resource consents, and from 24 December to 16 January for Land Information Memoranda (LIM) and Development Contribution reconsiderations.

This statutory close-down period means that application processing clocks will stop, says Customer Support General Manager Sue Duignan, and if you want an urgent LIM before Christmas it needs to be in before 12pm on 19 December.

“We will continue to accept lodgement of applications over the close-down period but the consent processing clocks won’t start up again until after 10 January.”

Between 4 and 16 January there will only be a skeleton crew of inspectors and consent processing staff on board.

There are also public holidays later in January that will affect timings, which people need to be aware of.

Ms Duignan says the unprecedented growth in the district is really stretching Council staff.

“The teams have been dealing with extremely high numbers of consent applications over the past 18 months, as the district attracts new residents from both Auckland and Hamilton seeking a small-town or country lifestyle.”

In the past financial year, building consents issued for new dwellings has increased by 56%. There has also been a 53% increase in resource consents over the past two years.

“It’s been an incredibly busy year and we thank our customers for their patience during this time. Our staff will be taking a well-deserved break over the Christmas period and they look forward to coming back in the new year and supporting our customers.”

Statistics for the 2015/16 financial year:

  • Building consents for new dwellings in Waikato district jumped from 511 in 2014/2015 to 797 in 2015/2016.
  • The number of all consents received increased from 1642 in 2014/2015 to 2006 in 2015/2016.
  • According to statistics released at the end of August, the Waikato district is the third-fastest growing district in the country, after Selwyn (in Canterbury) and Queenstown.