Sometimes, after a resource consent has been granted your plans change or some of the resource consent conditions won’t work anymore. In these cases, you will need to vary or delete your resource consent conditions.
How can I vary the conditions?
Resource consent conditions can be changed or cancelled (by the consent holder) by making an application under s127 of the Resource Management Act (RMA). This is another type of formal application, so does need to go through a formal process and there are Council fees associated with this. The application can also be declined; it’s not a “given” that you will be allowed to make the changes you seek.
How do I make the application?
As this is another type of RMA application, you need to provide an assessment that outlines:
describes the existing environment,
what you propose and why,
what conditions you want to alter and how,
assesses the potential adverse environmental effects of the changes,
assesses the impact of the changes in relation to objectives and policies of the relevant planning documents and the relevant sections of the RMA.
This is done via an “Assessment of Environmental Effects” (AEE) report. Typically, this is prepared by your Planner. The application is a “Discretionary Activity”, and you will need to provide an assessment that is “fit for purpose” and addresses all of the relevant matters.
Remember this isn’t simply a paper exercise, but is another formal application; it’s a similar process to getting the resource consent in the first place but the focus is on the changes.
Each Council will also have an application form that you need to fill out.
How is the application processed?
A s127 RMA application is processed in a similar way to the original resource consent, including:
an initial review of the application documents for completeness (s88 RMA),
a notification assessment, potentially identifying that adverse effects are more than minor or that neighbours are affected. You need to address this in your application report,
making a decision on the application overall (s104 RMA).
The Council can still request further information (s92 RMA), but in relation to the changes. What was approved initially is essentially “off the table” and the assessment is focused on the changes.
Need to change conditions?
If you need to change conditions of your resource consent, give our team a call. We can review your existing resource consent and give you advice on what you propose. We can also draft the AEE and liaise with the Council on your behalf. If you want to make life easier for yourself, give us a call today! email@example.com, 09 427 9966.
Hannah Thomson is Director of Planning Plus and has over 17 years of resource management experience working in both local government and the private sector. Hannah has a wide range of experience including commercial, rural, residential and coastal development and subdivision on small to large scales and appearances at both Council and Environment Court as an expert witness for mediation and hearings. Hannah has assisted Councils with policy development and has also assisted private individuals with submissions to Council.
As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s.