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  9. Inspection & Testing Requirements
    1. IT-1 General Provision
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Infrastructure Development Code

DS-1.3 Alternative Design


It is important that where the IDC can be used, it is used. The IDC contains collaboratively developed outcomes that provide a balanced representation for the needs and wants of Council and its landform and infrastructure industry co-stakeholders. Council acknowledges though, that design situations can differ from project to project. Therefore, the IDC is unable to provide a prescribed method for every situation a designer may encounter. 

The IDC alternative design process shall be used to manage these situations and ensure that these types of design achieve Councils required outcomes or do not unacceptably exceed them e.g.  increasing on-going costs to the community, providing an unnecessary outcome for an industry co-stakeholder. This process shall be followed by designers where:

  1. The IDC is silent on the design outcome needing to be achieved.
  2. The IDC is silent on issue/s that are required to produce a design outcome.
  3. The design is influenced by existing urban development, servicing and/or site specific constraints.
  4. An innovative design or new technology is proposed.
  5. A comprehensive land use activity is being proposed and the consideration of comprehensive planning, urban design principles and infrastructure development solution is required.

DS-1.3.1 Alternative Design Proposals

At the earliest time possible, Designers shall liaise with appropriate Council staff regarding any proposal to undertake an alternative design. Based on the subject matter, available expertise and the amount of information that is required to accompany an alternative design, applicants shall be aware of the following:

  1. Council is not obliged to accept an alternative design proposal. It is important to obtain concept approval from Council prior to formal application in order to ensure extra time and costs are not committed for a proposal that wouldn’t be (appropriately) considered by Council.
  2. All proposals require thorough investigation, as many contributing factors and potential viewpoints need to be considered.
  3. The processing time for these proposals is likely to be significantly longer than that for the existing prescribed IDC methods / outcomes due to the investigation required. 
  4. If the proposal departs from the requirements of the City Plan infrastructure performance standards and/or Resource Consent condition, this is likely to require a formal variation to the Resource Consent.
  5. The alternative design shall still deliver Council’s agreed levels of service, asset life and whole of life cost requirements.
  6. The alternative design shall not exceed current levels of service or whole of life costs in a way that creates legacy issues for Council in the future.

DS-1.3.2 Alternative Design Timing

Application for an alternative design approval can occur at any time but is most appropriate at the time of:

  1. Resource Consent application where an exception to the IDC has been identified.
  2. Development Works Approval for designs associated with a Resource Consent
  3. Application for an amendment to an existing Development Works Approval.
  4. Detailed design for a Council project.
  5. Unforeseen circumstances that require a solution. 

DS-1.3.3 Alternative Design Information Requirements

All alternative design applications shall be provided to Council via a report that includes the following:

  1. Identification of the project that the application relates to with reference to all other key approval documents such as the consent number, consent condition, contract number or the like.
  2. A summary of what you are trying to achieve e.g. what are you doing.
  3. A summary of the sections of the IDC you are requesting exception from.
  4. A detailed explanation regarding why the requirements of the IDC are not applicable to your project, therefore the need for the alternative design.
  5. Clear demonstration of how the proposal complies with:
    1. The City Plan infrastructure performance standards.
    2. Council’s specified asset life for each asset type.
    3. Appropriate industry and risk management practice.
  6. A summary of how the following components of the IDC will be achieved for the alternative design:
    1. Design methods.
    2. Construction techniques.
    3. Products and Materials.
    4. Inspection and Testing.
    5. Quality Assurance Requirements e.g. Certification, Reporting, As-Built Information. 
  7. Detail design plans, supporting information, calculations and any other evidence that will support your application.
  8. A summary of any potential effects to Councils operation and maintenance requirements.
  9. Any other information requested by Council via this process. These requests are likely to vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the asset discipline involved e.g. water supply, transportation etc.

DS-1.3.4 Alternative Design Approval

Approval of an alternative design applies only to the development works or project that the alternative design proposal covers. It does not approve the alternative for general use.

Physical works, purchases etc. shall not commence until formal written approval is received from Council.

DS-1.3.5 Alternative Design Effect on the Future IDC

Once the works are complete and to promote further development of the IDC, Council may consider the alternative design as an option for amendment and inclusion within the IDC.

Definitions in this section




Development works

Development works approval



Infrastructure performance standards

Resource consent



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