On site building and subdivision inspections are set to resume in Christchurch from next Tuesday, 28 April when COVID-19 restrictions move to Alert Level Three.
Under lockdown rules Christchurch City Council staff were unable to visit sites in person but they have continued to process building and resource consents, providing planning and advisory services remotely from their homes.
With next Tuesday's move to level three, on site inspections will restart, with additional health and safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These measures include inspectors and engineers wearing personal protective equipment and new protocols being introduced around how they enter and leave a work site and what they do while there.
Christchurch City Council Consenting and Compliance General Manager Carolyn Gallagher says staff have been fully trained on the new ways of working and work sites are also required to have additional safety protocols in place, including a COVID-19 Control Plan.
“The safety of our staff and of those they will be dealing with during site visits is of the utmost importance.”
Ms Gallagher says feedback from the construction industry has been supportive of the new measures, with an understanding that if appropriate safety protocols are not in place inspectors will be unable to carry out the booked inspection.
“It’s critical to have these measures in place so the construction industry can safely start operating again, which is good news for the local and national economy.”
While site inspections are beginning again, individuals and businesses can still apply for building and resource consents electronically with staff on hand to give advice if needed, she says.
“Our staff are now able to visit sites in person, but we’ll also continue to be available at the end of a phone or by email. We’ll still be carrying out virtual log burner inspections which we set up during the lockdown too, so there are a range of options available to people.”
Building consents are needed to undertake building work and confirm that the planned work complies with the Building Act 2004 and the building code.
Resource consents, which are separate to building consents, are needed when a proposed building or activity doesn’t comply with all the rules in the Christchurch District Plan. Some proposals require both types of consents.
The Council also wants to let people know that if they've been doing some "DIY" building work at home during the lockdown they can get in touch to find out whether they need to apply for a Certificate of Acceptance showing their work complies with the current New Zealand Building Code.
For more information about inspections, or to book, please phone our Inspections Support Team on 03 941 8222 or 0800 800 169.