Notification on Consents
Notification on Consents
Once a resource consent has been submitted, the Council considers the scale of any adverse environmental effects associated with the proposed activity. After full assessment of the application, the Council determines whether the application will be notified to the general public (publicly notified), notified only to affected parties (limited notified) or no parties are affected by the proposal and can be processed (non-notified).
Which path the application is processed is based upon a criteria set out in the District Plan and the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
If an application goes through on a Non-notified basis, it means the Council is satisfied that:
- Any adverse effects which may result from the proposal are less than minor; and
- Any parties deemed affected have given their affected persons consent to the proposed activity.
Under the RMA, the processing timeframe for non-notified resource consents is 20 working days. However, if any further information is required, this timeframe will be stopped while awaiting for the requested information.
Most applications received by the Council are processed on a non-notified basis.
If the Council deems an affected person/s approval is required on a potential party/ parties (generally neighbours) and they do not give their written approval, an application must be processed on a limited notified basis. If the applicant chooses to continue with the application process, additional fees for the limited notification process will apply under the Council’s fees and charges schedule.
Once full payment has been received, The Council will notify the parties which are deemed affected by providing all parties with a full copy of the application for resource consent, along with any further correspondence received after the initial application. The parties deemed as affected by the Council are the only parties who are able to make a submission on the application.
Any parties who lodge a submission and who wish to be heard, will be given the opportunity to present their case at a hearing. If no submissions are received, a hearing may not be required.
If the Council considers that the proposal will have adverse effects on the environment that are more than minor, under the RMA, the application must be publicly notified. A public notification may also be requested by the applicant at the time of lodging the consent. If the application continues through the notification process, additional fees apply under the Council’s fees and charges schedule.
If a resource consent is publicly notified, it will be advertised on the Council website under Notified Consents, an advertisement goes into the local newspaper and the Council serves a notice along with a full copy of the application to all the parties deemed affected. When an application goes through a public notification, it is open to anyone to submit a submission, supporting or opposing the application.
At the hearing, anyone who lodged a submission, can present their case, along with the applicant, any expert witnesses and Council officers. If no submissions are received, a hearing may not be required.
For limited notification and public notification
If the notified application is granted, it will be subject to conditions. The appeal period is open for 15 working days from receiving notice of the Council’s decision. Appeals are made to the Environment Court. Appeals are often complex and costly. Professional advice is recommended.
A pre-hearing meeting may be held to clarify or resolve issues before a formal hearing. Such meetings may save time at the hearing itself, or in some cases, may avoid the need for a hearing altogether if all the issues of concern can be resolved.
As well as arranging a pre-hearing meeting, the Council can also refer the applicant and submitters to mediation. Mediation can help clarify issues, resolve conflicts and reach agreement without needing to go to a hearing.
Limited and public Notification
- If a hearing is not required, the decision on the application is to be issued within 20 working days after submissions close. Total working days = 60.
- Completion of Hearing:
- For limited notified applications, the hearing must be completed 45 working days after the close of submissions.
- For publicly notified applications, the hearing must be completed 75 working days after the close of submissions.
- Notice of the decision (granted or declined) is issued within 15 working days after the hearing closes.
The following links can help provide further guidance regarding being an affected person and making a submission and a hearing process: