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In the four months to the end of September, 1195 building consent applications were received by the council, up 20% on any similar period over the previous five years.
Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said staff had been ‘‘pulling out all the stops’’ to meet the 20-day deadline for processing building consents, including working overtime, weekend work and deferring all non-essential training.
While one consent was processed outside the 20 working days in October, more than 100 were processed within the timeframe.
There were no plans to hire more staff, but 10 building services staff were undertaking mandatory technical training in order to assist, Mr Pickford said.
In another 12 months an additional five staff members would complete their training.
In September, BuildSmart co-owner Glen Williamson told the Otago Daily Times low interest rates meant money was cheap and without holidays, home renovations were a popular project to take on instead.
Mr Pickford said although the council did not collect information on whether a consent was for a new home or a renovation, the number of new builds this year (240) was about the same as in 2019 (243).
Consent applications for new subdivisions were up 25% compared with 2019.