Timeframes for Processing Resource Consents

The Resource Management Act sets the number of working days that are allowed for each step of processing and making decisions on resource consent applications. 

Pathways and timeframes are different depending on the type of consent and how complex it is.  The decision as to what type of pathway an application needs to follow sits with Council.

Fast Track Consents

From 18 October 2017, Council can decide that an application can be Fast Tracked, which reduces the time frames. A Fast Track Consent has to meet several criteria, including:

  • It must be for a district land use activity
  • It must have 'controlled activity' status
  • The applicant must have provided an email address for communications
  • Council has decided that there's no need for public consultation.
Fast Track Consent StageTime Limit
Check an application is complete 5 working days from the date an application is received
Make a decision 10 working days from the date a complete application is received

Non-notified Consents

 A non-notified consent means that Council has determined there is no need for public consultation, and all affected persons have given approval.

Non-Notified Consent StageTime Limit
Check an application is complete 10 working days from the date an application is received
Make a decision 20 working days from the date a complete application is received

Limited Notification Consents

 A Limited Notification consent means that Council is only seeking input from affected persons. This happens when Council considers that the effects on the environment are likely to be more than minor, but only for certain affected persons.

Limited Notification Consent StageTime Limit
Check an application is complete 10 working days from the date an application is received
Advise affected persons that they can make a submission 20 working days from the date a complete application is received
Receive submissions 20 working days from the date affected persons were advised
Make a decision if there's no hearing 20 working days from the date submissions close
Close a hearing 45 working days after close of submissions
Release a decision after close of hearing 15 working days from the date the hearing closes
Applicant or submitters appeal a decision to the Environment Court 15 working days from the date the decision is received

Publicly Notified Consents

A Publicly Notified Consent means that Council is seeking input from the public.  This happens when Council considers that the effects on the environment are likely to be more than minor.

Publicly Notified Consent StageTime Limit
Check an application is complete 10 working days from the date an application is received
Advertise in a public newspaper 20 working days from the date a complete application is received
Receive submissions 20 working days from the date the application is publically notified
Made a decision if there's no hearing 20 working days from the date submissions close
Close a hearing 75 working days after close of submissions
Release a decision after close of hearing 15 working days from the date the hearing closes
Applicant or submitters appeal a decision to the Environment Court 15 working days from the date the decision is received

 

Putting Applications 'On Hold'

The Council can put consent applications on hold if we need to ask an applicant:

  • for the deposit fee;
  • for more information;
  • to get written approvals from affected parties; or
  • to apply for additional resource consents.

When the Council puts applications on hold it 'stops the clock' and none of the working days are counted during the period that it is on hold.

Suspending the Process

The applicant may suspend the process for up to 130 working days for limited and publicly notified consents only. Requests can only be made from the start of notification through to the close of the hearing.

When the applicant puts an application on hold the 'clock stops' and none of the working days are counted during the period that it is on hold.

Extending the Time Limits

We sometimes extend the time limits (under section 37 of the Resource Management Act) for holding hearings or releasing decisions on applications, to allow applicants and submitters more time to negotiate consent conditions. There are rules about when we can and cannot extend the time limits. These rules are described in Section 37A of the Resource Management Act. If more than double the statutory time limit is needed, both the applicant and the Tasman District Council must agree.

The 'Dead Period'

The period between 20 December and 10 January each year is excluded from the working days count for all timeframes. This means that any weekdays during this time may not count as working days.

For example, for a resource consent application lodged on 19 December, the 'clock' will not start ticking until January 11.