Someone in your area, such as your neighbour, might approach you and ask for your support for an application for a resource consent.
They might need a resource consent because they want to build or use a property in a way that does not comply with the District Plan. In these situations we need to consider whether or not to give permission for the proposed activity and that permission may depend on whether affected parties, such as you, support or oppose the proposal.
How affected parties are identified
In deciding whether anyone is affected by a proposed development, we consider what the District Plan is trying to achieve. Some proposals affect a number of people, whereas others affect only an immediate neighbour, or nobody at all. The number of people required to be consulted depends very much on the issue involved, for example:
- If your neighbour proposes to build right up to your boundary instead of setting the building back by the distance required in the District Plan, then it is likely that only your consent will be required and not that of other neighbours.
- If your neighbour proposes to set up a business in their house which will attract visitors, then the consent of all adjoining neighbours may be required.
- If you live in a residential area and a tavern proposes to operate beyond 11pm with loud music, then neighbours' consents would be required from a wide area – possibly a whole block.
What to do if you support the approval of the application?
If you do not object to what the applicant is proposing you may decide to give your approval. You should sign all pages of the:
- Written approval form.
- Application form.
- Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE).
The applicant is required to show you all these documents, which is also a protection for you so that you are clear about what you are agreeing to.
If you sign the written approval form we will be unable to take into account any negative effects the proposal might have on you and your property when we consider whether to grant or refuse the application.
What if you change your mind?
If you change your mind after you have signed a written approval form and decide to withdraw your consent, you can do so – but you must do this in writing before we have made a decision on the application. The withdrawal of your consent may mean the application has to be notified. You can become involved in the notified resource consent process by making a submission and you may choose to speak at a hearing.
What if you don't want the proposed development to go ahead?
If you do not support the approval of the proposal, you are quite within your rights to not sign the form. You do not have to give your consent, nor is there a certain time frame in which you must decide. If you need more time to consider it, then you should say so.
If you decide to withhold your consent and the applicant is not prepared to change the proposal to exclude the effects it has on you, it is likely that the application will have to be limited notified.
Can you discuss options with the applicant?
You should feel able to discuss with the applicant the ways in which they can change their proposal to meet any concerns you might have, and to reduce the impact of the changes on you and your property. Ideally, the applicant would have consulted with you before finalising their plans and accommodated any concerns you have.
Two ways to have your concerns taken into account are to get the applicant to amend their plans before you sign them, or to make your written approval conditional upon a particular matter.
Conditional consents will be accepted only when the condition relates to a relevant resource management matter. Our planners are able to give advice on the types of conditions that can be included in conditional consents.