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Processing your application

1. Initial assessment

A senior planner will check that your application is complete. If any information is missing the application will be returned within 10 working days. If the application is complete it will be allocated to a planner to process. Council is required to process applications within 20 working days. However if the processing planner requests further information the “clock stops” until the information is provided. If your application is not notified you should have a decision within 20 working days.

Read the Ministry for the Environment's guidelines on the resource consent process.

2. Written approval from affected parties

Sometimes written approval from affected parties is needed for a resource consent application to be processed on a non-notified basis. Written approvals should be obtained with the notice of written approval form. Both the written approval form and a copy of the application (including plans) must be signed. Written approvals must be unconditional. Any agreement between yourself and the person giving written approval is a separate matter and cannot be considered by the Council as part of the resource consent process.

If you are a neighbour considering whether to give written approval to an application, you need to be aware that if you give your approval the Council will be unable to take account of any adverse (negative) effects the proposal may have on you or your property when it makes a decision on whether to grant or refuse a resource consent application. Written approvals for resource consent applications may be withdrawn before a decision is made by the Council.

Read the Ministry for the Environment's guidelines on your rights as an affected party your rights as an affected party.

If you have any questions about either obtaining or providing written approval you can contact the Council’s Duty Planner.

3. Notified or non-notified

There are three ways in which resource consent applications can be processed – publicly notified, limited notified or non-notified. Applications are non-notified where the Council is satisfied that:

  • any adverse effects that may result from the proposal are no more than minor; and
  • any affected persons (usually neighbours) have agreed in writing to the proposal.

Most applications processed by the Council are non-notified.

Publicly notified

An application must be publicly notified if the council considers that the adverse effects of a proposal on the environment are likely to be more than minor. A publicly notified application is advertised on the council’s website and directly affected parties are served notice. Anyone can lodge submissions supporting or opposing a publicly notified application. Find out more about making a submission here.

Limited notified applications

An application must be limited notified when the adverse effects of the proposal are minor or more than minor and the affected parties have not given written approval. The council will serve notice to the affected parties. Only persons who are served notice may make a submission.

4. Resource consent hearings

A hearing is a formal meeting to consider notified resource consent applications where submissions have been received. An applicant can also request a hearing for a non-notified application, or a notified application where there are no submitters wanting to be heard. At FNDC hearings are chaired by independent commissioners. For more information about appearing at a hearing.

Pre-hearing meeting

A pre-hearing meeting is an optional informal meeting held prior to the hearing of a notified application. Pre-hearing meetings provide an opportunity for all parties to meet and discuss and clarify any points raised in the application or submissions, and clarify resource management issues. If agreement is reached between parties at a pre-hearing meeting a more formal hearing may not be required.

The decision

Once the Hearings Panel or Commissioner has heard all the evidence the hearing will be declared closed. A written decision will usually be sent to the applicant and submitters within 15 working days of the close of the hearing. In some cases, applicants and/or submitters may appeal the decision to the Environment Court. Appeals must be lodged with the Court within 15 working days of receipt of the notice of the decision. If you are thinking of lodging an appeal we strongly recommend that you seek legal assistance in the preparation of your appeal to ensure that the correct procedure is followed.

Last updated: 02 Apr 2024 4:30pm