Auckland Transport (AT) are changing the fee structure for property related applications processed by the Technical Property Services Team.
Project status: Consultation - closed 7 December 2020.
Project zone: Region-wide
Recent customer feedback highlighted that our current fee structure and invoicing process did not provide a clear framework on our fees. Our new proposed fee structure will provide clarity and transparency for our customers on our fees. We are constantly making improvements to our application processes.
Recently the Building Line Restriction Cancellation process has benefited from an automation review which streamlined the process and now provides a clear timeframe for customers. The changes will allow customers to book preapplication meetings with the Technical Property Services staff to cover complex issues related to their application.
The current fees have not changed since AT began 10 years ago. The new fees structure will be in line with other Council organisation charges and include a wider range of services.
The Building Line Restriction Cancellation and Removal of Limitations as to Parcels application fees are proposed to increase from $200 to $575 per record of title/property. The deposit fee for encroachment applications is proposed to increase relative to the type and complexity of the proposed encroachment ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 and staff time beyond the deposit can be charged where the deposit is exceeded.
Benefits of the new fee:
- To bring the fees charged by the AT Technical Property Services team for processing applications in line with those of AC and other Council organisations across the country.
- Improve customer satisfaction with the process.
- Provide clarity by making the fee structure and charging schedule more straightforward
- Allow greater engagement with public by providing pre-application meetings and consultation.
- Recover property staff processing costs.
Proposed fees changes schedule
*Note: Deposit was non-refundable
|Application type||Current fees||Proposed fees|
|Including GST||Approximate staff labour hours||Base fee||Including GST|
|Building line restriction cancellation||$200||6 hours||$500||$575|
|Removal of limitations as to parcels||$200||3.5 to 4 hours||$350||$402.50|
|Affected party consents||$200||6-8 hours (sometimes longer)||$500||$575|
|Subsoil Minor – small pipes, no rental||$1,000 deposit*||14 – 20 hours||$1,500||$1,725|
|Subsoil Major – CBD ground anchors, attracts rental||$1,000 deposit*||25 hours plus||$2,500||$2,875|
|Construction and maintenance - low access wall, driveway, no rental||$1,000 deposit*||18 hours||$1,500||$1,725|
|Construction and maintenance - parking bays, paper road formations, large retaining walls civil works, attracts rental||$1,000 deposit*||Approx. 35 hours||$2,500||$2,875|
|Surface Licence – miscellaneous works, often retrospective, usually attracts rental||$1,000 deposit*||18 hours||$1,500||$1,725|
|Airspace Minor – canopy for retail, no rental||$1,000 deposit*||14 hours||$1,500||$1,725|
|Airspace Major – architectural features, balconies, attracts rental||$1,000 deposit*||25 hours||$2,500||$2,850|
|On request of public, providing advice on applications or proposed issues for encroachments – for a one-hour meeting||Nil||Charged in addition to fee or deposit.||$300||$345|
|Charging for additional staff costs at Labour Recovery Rates|
|For additional processing and technical time (including any meetings with applicant) required once the application fee or deposit has been expended.||Nil||As required on advice to applicant.||As per labour rates in AT policy.||e.g. currently
|Charging for encroachment administration fee as provided for in Road Surface, Airspace and Subsoil Encroachment Policy|
|The above policy provides charging for any changes to existing leases/licences. This applies to any changes to a lease/licence holder, use of the road encroachment, or size of the encroachment.||Nil||3 to 5 hours plus||$350||$402.50|
The fees charged for processing these applications were set at AT inception in 2010. There has been no subsequent increase in fees. The current charging structure is either a flat fee or a deposit.
A $200 flat fee is charged for:
- Building Line Restriction Cancellations (BLR),
- Affected Party Consents (APC), and
- Removal of Limitations as to Parcels (LATP).
On average a BLR takes 6-8 hours, an APC takes 6-8 hours and a LATP takes 3.5 hours. Based on the basic $85/hr labour rate for staff processing time, the $200 flat fee falls short of covering all staff processing time. There is currently no process to recover these additional fees.
A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is paid at the time of application for:
- Encroachment Licence to Occupy Applications (LTO).
- Road Stoppings.
There are a number of LTO categories based on type of encroachment (either Airspace, Surface or Subsoil) and these vary in complexity. The LTO applications can take up to 20 hours staff time depending on the type of licence. Complex matters usually require meetings with the applicant and other AT staff to provide detailed technical feedback or advice. Most LTO applications incur around $2,500 in staff time.
Recovery of additional property staff costs has been through invoicing for the balance above the initial deposit post conclusion of processing the application. This has led to disputes with applicants and is often extremely time consuming to recover. There are also a number of proposed applicants who meet with staff but who do not proceed with an application. The proposed fee schedule includes a fixed fee for a pre-application meeting regardless of whether an application is proceeded with.
The proposal is to increase the current flat fees from $200 to $350 for the LATP application and to $500 for the BLR and APC applications and to increase the deposit fee from $1000 to $1500 for minor encroachment applications and from $1000 to $2500 for major encroachment applications.
The inclusion of a fixed fee of $300 for pre-application meetings is proposed in the fee change when customers seek TPS in depth assistance from the Technical Property Services staff.
The fee proposal includes the ability for the relevant hourly rate to be charged if a customer requires additional specialist assistance from other AT teams as part of the proposed encroachment or property application.
The current fee structure has meant that AT has provided TPS services at a loss. The Controller and Auditor-General’s good practice guide 2008 for charging fees for public sector goods and services provides that any fee should be no more than the amount necessary and be based on cost recovery. Public entities are to be guided by three principles authority, efficiency and accountability.
The three principles
AT has the legal authority to charge a fee for services under the Local Government 2002 subject to undertaking consultation. This proposal is an adjustment to fees which have been in place since 2011.
As a public entity AT has the responsibility to operate efficiently and accurately manage costs. The Auditor-General suggests a review takes place at least every three years.
To be accountable AT need to ensure the process for setting fees is transparent, which can be achieved through public consultation. The consultation process needs to allow enough time for public feedback which should be considered with an open mind before any final decision is made. An analysis of time spent on applications has been undertaken to formulate the proposed charges. Greater clarity on staff charge out will be provided and feedback received through consultation will be taken into account in setting the new charges. Staff charge out rates are universal and will not form part of the consultation.
Listening to what you have to say is important to us. Your knowledge can help us make better decisions, so together we can achieve the best outcomes for Auckland.
Feedback closed Monday, 7 December 2020.
We will switch to using the new fee structure on 1 May 2021 and our forms and documents will be updated to reflect this.