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Tauranga developers look forward to busy 2022 with 'efficient council consent process'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Members of local advocacy group Urban Task Force (UTF) have initiated regular meetings with the Tauranga City Council (TCC) Building and Environmental Planning teams to discuss problems and recommend solutions to help improve efficiencies for those applying for building consents.

The UTF initially identified 19 areas of concern and corresponding recommended solutions which were raised at their first meeting late last year.

Tauranga City Council’s Barbara Dempsey, General Manager Regulatory and Compliance heralded the meeting as a success.

"Planning teams have met with UTF, and we really appreciate the collaborative approach between the parties. Balancing the objectives and requirements of both parties can be challenging at times but working together will result in better outcomes for the developer, the Council and the community of Tauranga. We look forward to growing this relationship over the coming years," she says.

UTF Chairman Scott Adams says the meeting was a major step forward in aligning the interests of the building community with the city’s regulators.

"Tauranga’s housing crisis isn’t going away. We need to increase capacity quickly and efficiently which requires an effort from both the Council and the building community.

"The initial 19 points we raised with the Council’s regulatory teams have all either been addressed or are in the process of being resolved in such a way that we have every confidence our concerns were heard, and significant progress is underway," says Adams.

Issues identified in the first meeting between the parties include inconsistencies with the processing of consents, communication breakdowns, possible efficiencies with building inspections and the need for system changes to prioritise large-scale housing projects over single dwelling consents.

"We had some really positive discussions with Council that confirmed our collective goal of addressing the shortage of homes in the city. It was encouraging to hear that TCC were already working on software to improve processing systems which will speed up consenting and open up the lines of communication and co-operation," says Adams.

With a number of points of action underway to address developer’s concerns, UTF has already booked in a second meeting and both parties have agreed to schedule bi-monthly catch ups to monitor progress.

"UTF want progress for our city and our members. We know that proactive, positive working relationships built on solid foundations of collaboration and working for the greater good, will achieve results and UTF is committed to advocating for the benefit of all the people of Tauranga," says Adams.

Members of the development community who are interested in the collaborative process UTF has initiated with the Council are encouraged to contact the Urban Task Force for a detailed outline of progress to date.

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