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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
Building plan.

Making changes to a building consent

You can amend your building consent by applying for either a minor variation or an amendment.

How can I amend my building consent?

If you want to change your plans before or during construction you need to get approval from the Dunedin City Council.

Note design changes prior to the building consent being issued are revisions not minor variations or amendments.

Proposed changes can be typically categorised as one of the following:

  • Minor Variation – minor modification, or variation to a building consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates, for example; substituting comparable products (such as changing the brand of insulation), re-routing a drain to avoid an obstacle, minor wall bracing changes, minor construction change (such as changing the framing used around a window), removing a solid fuel burner from the original consent, or changing the position of fixtures in a bathroom.
  • Amendment (Major Variation) – a change that is more than a minor variation and is associated with the original building consent (not new work), for example;  a change to part or all of the cladding system, a change from an acrylic shower unit to a wet floor shower, or changes to fire safety aspects.

Any changes to the location or height of building work on site may result in a failed site inspection and the requirement for a full amendment. Even in the case of a small change, the amendment will require assessment by City Planning and Building Services and in some circumstances may result in the need for resource consent. For this reason it is critical that site boundaries are accurately located and the building set out is accurate.

Generally, where the work is not a minor variation but is still within the scope of the original consent, it is an amendment. Where the change involves additional work on another building, or extensive additional work on the same building you will generally need to apply for a new building consent.

An application for an amendment (major variation) is applied for and processed in the same way as a new building consent application. The statutory timeframe to process an amendment is 20 working days. However, amendments may be given some priority depending on our current workloads. Applying as soon as possible will limit delays. To submit an application, refer to the Making an application for building consent page.

To apply for a minor variation, complete the Minor Variation Application form (forms and costs available on the Forms and guidance page in the related information area) and submit along with the supporting documentation to the Dunedin City Council. Please make sure the minor variation is within the definition on the application form.

A minor variation application can be submitted in hard copy or electronically. If you wish to submit it electronically, please email the application to building@dcc.govt.nz. Minor variation applications should not be submitted via DCC Online Services.

Minor variation and amendment applications must clearly demonstrate what is being changed. Please make sure the plans and supporting documents only relate to the amendment. If you need to submit a plan or supporting document that includes detail that doesn't relate to the amendment, please place a cloud around the area of work that is affected by the change. This will help to reduce the amount of time required to process the application.

Amendments applied for two years or more after the date the original building consent was granted are likely to require a new building consent unless they are necessary to allow the project to be completed, such as removing work that is over budget, or changing a foundation design due to unforeseen site conditions. Amendment applications that add new work for these older consents will not be accepted.

You need to wait for our approval of the proposed amendment or minor variation before you do the work. A minor variation can sometimes be approved on site by the building inspector at the time of the inspection. Documentation to support the change may be requested by the inspector.

Amendments to a building consent do not extend the time to start or complete the building work; they merely document a change to the approved design in the original consent.

Refer to the Building Consent Fees and Charges page for costs associated with building consent amendments. BRANZ (Building Research Association New Zealand) and MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) levies are payable on amendments if the value of building work for the original consent or consecutive amendments exceeds $20,000 (BRANZ levy) or $20,444 (MBIE levy) and there is an increase in costs. The BCA Accreditation levy will also apply.

Further guidance on making a change to a building consent is available in the related information area.

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