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. There are several stages and several pathways that an application can take.  Each step in the process has a timeframe for completion.

Below is a brief summary of the process. 

Step 1 - Talk to Council before you apply

We recommend you talk to us before you submit your application. We can assist you to make informed decisions about your application and avoid unnecessary delays and costs.  You can talk to a duty planner for 30 minutes with no cost, or go through a formalised, more comprehensive Pre-Application meeting.

Step 2 - Put together your application

Your application will need to include an application form, an assessment of the effects your project may have on the environment, a copy of your Certificate of Title, and detailed plans of the development and location.  You might also need written approval from your neighbours, or other information required under the Tasman Resource Management Plan.  There's a deposit fee to pay at the time of 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 to determine what the effects will be.  If staff need more information to determine these things then they 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 pathways' an application will take. This depends on the effects that the proposal will have (1) on the environment and (2) on other people.  The three pathways 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 resource consents are non-notified.)  A non-notified consent can sometimes be Fast-tracked, if it meets certain criteria.
  2. Limited Notification - submissions are invited just from persons who are identified by 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 Notification', only persons who are directly affected can make submissions. If it is 'Publicly Notified', anyone has a chance to make submissions. 

Both processes usually require a hearing to give the applicants and submitters a chance to speak.

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

Step 6 - Decision

Depending on the processing pathway either the Council's planner or a hearing committee will make a decision to either grant or decline an application. If it is granted, conditions will usually be imposed requiring that work be done in a certain way or that certain environmental effects are avoided. 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).

The Council's decision will be sent to you in writing and, if it is granted, with a copy of your consent.

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