Record number of new homes approved in booming Selwyn neighborhood


Houses in the Faringdon development in Rolleston, one of the fast growing parts of Selwyn.  (File photo)

Alden Williams / Stuff

Houses in the Faringdon development in Rolleston, one of the fast growing parts of Selwyn. (File photo)

Almost 2,000 new homes were approved for construction in Selwyn in 2021, a new annual record for the growing Canterbury neighborhood.

Selwyn, west of Christchurch and capturing towns like Rolleston and Lincoln, is now home to around 73,600 people, according to Stats NZ.

By June 2021, its population is estimated to have grown by 4.8%, more than any other region in the country for this period.

In 2021, the Selwyn District Council approved 1975 building permits for new homes, primarily in Rolleston and Lincoln. Total building permits, not just new construction, hit a record 2,940.

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THE DETAIL / RNZ

Blocked deliveries, empty shelves, a reduced workforce, record building permits and rising house prices have shaped the construction industry.

The next best years were 2020 and 2014, both of which saw approximately 2,800 consents approved.

Steve Cusdin, owner of Selwyn Builders Ltd, said he saw an increase in the number of inquiries last year.

A few years ago he could have helped people in six months, but it has since grown to 12 to 18 months, he said.

Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton have “taken off massively.”

“I don’t see him slowing down. We are quite full for the year.

Selwyn Builders owner Steve Cusdin said construction in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton had

Provided

Selwyn Builders owner Steve Cusdin said construction in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton had “taken off in large numbers.”

Cusdin said 2021 has been made more difficult due to supply issues and delays in approving consents.

He said he had to wait 50 to 60 days for some consents, but noted times were improving.

The average wait time for a building permit in Selwyn in December was 30 days, said Vanessa Mitchell, building manager for Selwyn District Council.

Consents had to be processed by councils within 20 days.

Mitchell said the board hired more staff in 2021. It also continued to develop an “on-the-job” training program and process to speed up certain consents.

Selwyn District Council took an average of 30 days to approve a building permit in December.  (File photo)

Stacy Squires / Stuff

Selwyn District Council took an average of 30 days to approve a building permit in December. (File photo)

“We are working hard to reduce delays,” Mitchell said.

The delays were not limited to Selwyn.

In Christchurch, just over half of the 4,183 residential building permits approved in 2021 were processed within the 20-day deadline.

Christchurch City Council Acting Chief Building Officer Mark Urlich said the council would remedy the delays by hiring more staff and employing external contractors in 2022.

Consent requests in 2021 were up 20% from the previous year, Urlich said, a marked difference from the council’s prediction that they could drop by 30%.

“Although it has been a busy year, we have had fewer resources available to meet current demand.

Halswell led the way with the most building permits approved, he said. St Albans and Burwood were also high.

In Waimakariri district, which covers Rangiora and Kaiapoi, 928 new housing units were made in 2021, a spokesperson said.

This was a jump from 2020, when just under 600 new constructions had been authorized.


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