Selwyn Times 22 July 2014
Selwyn district continues to figure strongly in Canterbury’s rebuild and economic growth.
Latest figures indicate that construction activity in Selwyn has continued to increase over the past 12 months, with the number of new dwelling consents issued by Selwyn District Council rising by 49 per cent.
The total number of building consents issued in Selwyn for the year to June was 2790, up from 2390 in the 12 months to June 2013. The number of new dwelling consents rose more sharply - from 1084 to 1613.
District council environmental services manager John Christensen said Selwyn had been experiencing rapid growth in recent years with the number of new dwelling consents issued more than doubling within three years.
“In 2011/2012 we issued 616 new dwelling consents in a year and in the past 12 months we issued more than 1600.”
Mr Christensen said Selwyn was a desirable place to live, as it could offer high quality housing, and an attractive environment with reduced travel times to central Christchurch following the construction of the new Southern Motorway.
While the number of building consents the district council was receiving had been rising, consents were now being processed more quickly, providing a better service for customers.
“A new online consent application and processing system was introduced in February 2013 and has helped us to provide a more efficient service,” he said.
“The average time to process consents has fallen from 14 working days, well under the statutory maximum time frame of 20 working days.”
The number of resource consents being processed in Selwyn has also increased over the last year, with 632 resource consents issued in year to June, up from 586 issues in the 12 months prior to this. More than 99 per cent of these were processed within the statutory time frame of 20 working days. Resource consent applications can now be submitted via email.
The new online building consent system has been popular with consent applicants - with 87 per cent of customers saying the online application process was clear and easy to complete.
The system has also been recognised in the Local Government New Zealand excellence awards as a finalist in the local economic contribution category.
Selwyn is the fastest growing area in New Zealand and has also been ranked by Business and Economic Research Limited as the district with the strongest economic performance in the country for the past two years running.