'Deterrent' flats fees slashed

Fees that drove people to lie about their new home plans have been cut by the Tauranga City Council - saving house builders up to $27,000.

The council this week slashed the development fees on granny flats and abolished them completely where the self-contained flat was part of the main house.

It meant that baby boomers who were wanting an independent wing on their new home to accommodate aging parents have been spared paying additional fees ranging between $5600 at West Bethlehem to $27,000 at The Lakes.

The main protagonist for the change, Councillor Rick Curach, told the Bay of Plenty Times the fees had been such a deterrent that people were resorting to altering their new homes after they had been built.

The interior design was tweaked to create the independent unit, such as adding a couple of doors and installing a kitchenette.

He said that only 18 consents had been issued for secondary flats in the past five years.

"A lot of it went underground - that is what happened."

Although the council did not know how many people had failed to declare building alterations, Cr Curach said the minimal number who went through the proper channels showed how much of a deterrent the fees had become.

The only fees left standing were the $4300 to $5600 building impact fee for a one or two bedroom stand-alone granny flat.

It was a contribution towards the cost of city-wide infrastructure.

Gone were the more expensive subdivision impact fees that paid for everything local that the developer did not provide, including neighbourhood reserves and main roads.

This represented savings of between $3520 and $21,370.

Home builders in the city's other greenfield growth areas that want a self-contained flat will save $13,000 in Pyes Pa, $15,000 in Welcome Bay, $15,700 in Papamoa, $17,600 in Ohauiti and $19,200 in Bethlehem.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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