Getting a resource consent approved is a process, and it can unfortunately be a long and confusing process. How can the decisions you make affect your overall application experience? Making the right choices on the people in your development team can have a huge impact.
As with any process, there are steps and stages of a resource consent application and different people are involved at different times. In most cases, your resource consent application will require involvement from different specialists. This includes professionals who will provide assessment or document key areas of your proposal.
Different types of projects require varied specialist inputs- this could include architects, engineers, surveyors, traffic engineers, landscape architects, acoustic specialists, heritage specialists, arborists or ecologists. Some professionals also specialise in specific types of projects, or projects of a particular scale. For example, an engineer may be familiar with smaller scale subdivision applications and more easily able to provide an assessment of this type of project.
Not every application will require all these specialists’ assessments- your planner will help guide you in terms of who should be involved and when. Planners, particularly planners at specialty consultancies, often work with many other professionals and have a wide network of contacts- they can recommend specialists who are well suited to your specific type of development. This makes sure you get the right inputs at the right time, designing your development from the start having regard to constraints and potential issues, and avoiding costly redesign.
It’s fair to say that everyone hopes their resource consent process goes as smoothly as possible, minimising time delays and costs and ultimately receiving a resource consent with fair and reasonable conditions. To achieve this outcome, it’s critical to have the right development team from the start. Your development team should have experience with and knowledge of your project type, its scale and the location. They should have a detailed understanding of the rules and regulations, and what the Council and other organisations, such as Watercare, will require. This will ensure that your development is designed from the start to address potential issues, meets the required standards and is consistent with the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Using a skilled and knowledgeable team for your project will allow you to lodge a throughout resource consent application, addressing all the relevant issues in the necessary detail. This gives you the best chance of having a quick and efficient process, and minimising Council costs. This is because:
You have already undertaken the necessary assessments at pre- lodgement stage, meaning your project already addresses site constraints, Auckland Unitary Plan expectations and potential effects. This not only reduces the number of further information questions from the Council but reduces the potential for redesign.
The Council is likely to ask fewer questions, meaning your overall processing timeframe is reduced. This also reduces specialists costs related to providing further information to the Council.
The Council can adopt some/ all of your teams’ assessments rather than undertaking that assessment themselves. This means the Council fees are less, and the time required is also less.
On the flip side, if you don’t use the right people for your project, you run the risk of:
Your resource consent application being rejected as incomplete at the start,
More questions being asked by the Council planners and Council specialists, because they are not addressed at all or not in enough detail in your application,
Having to redesign your project to address issues raised through the processing. This can be very costly as it not only requires updates to plans but also supporting reports such a engineering reports,
Having lengthy delays to your application, as you prepare the further information Council asks for,
Increasing Council costs, as they have to do more assessment and spend more time communicating with you. You are charged for the actual time Council staff spend on your application.
Your holding costs also increasing due to the time it takes to process your resource consent application.
Planners are a very important part of the resource consent process- they understand the key legislation, related rules, and standards relevant to your proposal. Legislation and plan provisions are constantly changing and understanding these changes, restrictions and the opportunities these provide for your site is the role of your planner. You planner will know the type of assessments, level of detail and information requirements necessary for the scale and risk of your specific project. A planner often acts as your resource consent project manager, managing the engagement of key specialists, their inputs, lodging the application and liaising with the Council on your behalf from start to finish. This helps make the process easier and faster for you.
Planning is recognised as an important and complex area on its own- seeking the right planner from the starts ensures your project runs smoothly. Make sure you choose someone who is qualified, experienced and a good fit for you and your development. No one wants to have to redesign their project when planning matters have been missed. Choosing the right planner upfront is important, one who is qualified and experienced.
Your choices on your development team have a direct and central impact on your overall resource consent experience, the timeframe and your costs. Choose wisely, get the right team, and achieve the right results!
Want more information?
Planning Plus can assist right through your development and consent process- from the initial investigations and concept design through to the preparation of the resource consent application. We are a friendly team of highly experienced professionals specialising in resource consents and are here to take the stress out of the process for you! Contact us on email@example.com or 09 427 9966.
elen is a Senior Planner at Planning Plus® and has over 15 years’ experience in planning
and environmental consulting.
Helen's experience includes the preparation of resource consents, compliance monitoring, environmental auditing, community consultation and environmental fund coordination. Her background has provided her with a wide range and thorough understanding of technical and environmental inputs.
Helen holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Science) and Bachelor of Business (Management) Conjoint Degree and is an Associate Member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.
As with all our blogs this information is preliminary in nature only and correct at the time of writing. It is not intended to substitute for your own investigations or obtaining specific advice on your proposal from professionals. Planning Plus LtdTM is not liable in any way for any errors or omissions.