What is a Resource Consent? How is it different from a Building Consent?
A Resource Consent is essentially the planning permission of Council to undertaken an activity that is not specifically permitted by the District Plan. Resource Consents are administered under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), while Building Consents are administered under the Building Act 2004. While the Building Act is concerned with the functional requirements of buildings and other structures, the RMA is concerned with sustainable management, such as effects on the environment, your neighbours and the surrounding areas. It is common to obtain both a Resource Consent and a Building Consent for a project.
How much will it cost to process my application? Does the deposit fee cover all the costs?
An initial deposit is required at the time of lodging any Resource Consent application.
The actual cost of the application is dependent on how long it takes Council staff to process the application. Where good information is provided up front and, where the application is relatively simple, the cost of the application may well be less than the deposit. If this is the case, you will receive a refund.
However, with more complicated applications or applications where insufficient information is provided, it will typically take more time for Council staff to process the application and this will increase the cost.
It is important that you understand that the quality and detail of the information you supply with your application will impact on the final cost - the better the application, the smaller the bill.
Please note that, with subdivisions, a Development Contribution will also need to be paid. More information on Development Contributions is available here.
How long will it take to process my application?
Council has a maximum of 20 working days to process a non-notified Resource Consent application, excluding the time where further information or the written approval of affected parties is sought. The time taken to process each individual application varies. However, a decision is often issued in well under 20 working days.
What constitutes a working day is defined in the RMA.
Publicly Notified and Limited Notified Resource Consents have a longer processing period - up to 70 working days.
Should I discuss the proposal with my neighbours prior to lodging a Resource Consent application?
There is no mandatory requirement to consult with your neighbours, but it can be very helpful. If there are neighbours who might be affected by your proposal to a minor or more than minor degree, then it will assist the processing of your Resource Consent if you obtain their written approval to your proposal and submit these with your application. Please note they need to have both signed the form and signed a copy of the plans.
It is far better to sort out any possible objections before you lodge your application with Council. Staff may be able to help you with this.
Alternatively, you can submit your application and ask the processing Planner to advise you on who they consider to be affected.
My neighbour has asked me to sign an Affected Party Approval Form for their development. What does this mean?
This means they would like you to approve of their proposal. If you elect to provide your written approval, you essentially agree to any effects that the proposal may result in. The Planner processing your application will need to disregard you from their assessment. Before providing your written approval, you should understand the full extent of what is proposed and the likely impact on you.
Will my Resource Consent expire? How long do I have to use it?
The majority of Resource Consents need to be exercised within five years, or they will lapse. Prior to the lapse date, you are entitled to apply for an extension. Please contact the Resource Management Team for further information.