Although it is not compulsory to talk to the council at this stage, the 15 minutes of free advice
it offers may be helpful to clarify doubts regarding consent requirements, timeframes and costs at a high level.
For more complex projects you can request a pre-application meeting with the council to speak with the relevant specialists and determine the key issues the council will be concerned with in the consenting process.
You can also enquire about development contributions and how they may affect the cost of the project either during the 15 minute consultation, or by using the Development Contributions Estimator
tool on the Auckland Council website.
The council also offers a free two-hour consultation with a specialist Eco Design Advisor
for guidance on saving money on energy and water bills. This can increase the resale value of your home, improve indoor air quality and reduce your home’s environmental impact.
The expertise and experience of a professional designer can help create the platform for a successful project and a quality outcome. A good architect or architectural designer will ensure the brief is comprehensive enough without setting excessive constraints on the design, and ensure your aims and requirements are communicated clearly. Engaging someone at this stage shouldn’t imply a commitment to using them throughout the rest of the project.
Expert advice on specific subjects may help you more clearly document and communicate aspects that are of special importance to the design.