How resource consent applications work

Once an application has been received, the process that Council staff follow when processing the application is prescribed by the Resource Management Act 1991.

Step 1 - Talk to the Council before you apply

Please talk to us if you want to understand what options you may have for a project or proposal on your land or for the use of a resource. If you talk to us before you commit to design choices for your project, or before submitting any application for your project, we will help you to make informed decisions about your project. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays and costs. You can talk to a duty planner for 30 minutes for free, or go through a formalised, more comprehensive pre-application meeting.

Step 2 - Put together your application

We do need you to include an application form, an assessment telling us the effects your project may have on the environment, a copy of your Computer Freehold Register, and detailed plans of the development and location. Our Tasman Resource Management Plan includes other information that we need for some types of projects. If you have a written approval from your neighbours, then we do not have to look at any of the effects on them, which makes it quicker and easier to assess. You do have to pay a deposit fee with your application.

Step 3 - Council will make sure we have all necessary information

A resource consent planner will audit your application and make an assessment against the TRMP rules. We make sure we have enough details to understand your project and what its effects on the environment and neighbours might be.  If we need more information to understand these, then we will send you a 'request for further information'. 

Step 4 - Council decides whether public involvement ('notification') is required

Council decides which of the following three 'processing paths' your application will take. This depends on the effects that the proposal will have on the environment and also on other people.  The three paths are:

  1. Non-notified - no members of the public are involved, or you have obtained written approval from affected persons (such as your neighbours). Most of our resource consents are non-notified. We have fast-tracked non-notified consents, for the very simple applications that meet certain criteria.
  2. Limited notification - submissions are invited just from persons who are identified by the Council as affected.
  3. Publicly notified - the proposal is advertised and submissions are invited from the public.

Step 5 - Notified consents are opened for submissions, and might have a hearing

If an application is limited notified, only persons who are directly affected can make submissions. If it is publicly notified, anyone has a chance to make submissions. 

We usually have a hearing, so that both the applicant and any submitters have a chance to speak to the decision maker.

Read more about how to make a submission on resource consent applications and about resource consent hearings:

Step 6 - Decision

Our decision to grant or decline your application is usually made by a Council planner (non-notified applications) or by Hearing Committees. If we grant consent, we place conditions on your consent to make sure that work is done in a certain way or to protect neighbours or the environment from adverse effects. Council will also decide how long to grant resource consent for. Some consents (like a subdivision) last forever, while others might only last for a couple of years (like a permit to take water from a river).

We will always send you a copy of the decision in writing. If our decision is to grant, then we include a copy of your consent and all the conditions.

If you do not agree with the Council's decision, you may be able to lodge an objection or an appeal.

How long will it take?

As you can see, there are several paths that an application can take. Each step in the process has a timeframe for completion.

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