The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires local councils to ensure that effects on the environment are managed sustainably. Our role is to decide whether to grant a resource consent for someone to undertake an activity that might affect the environment.
Consents processing team
The vast majority of resource consent applications are approved, some are withdrawn and very few are declined.
Upon receipt of the consent application, a staff member from the appropriate departments will carry out a site visit, assess the application and compile a report.
Most applications will be assessed by the following three departments:
The council's planners assess the application against the rules in the Waikato District Plan. The consents planners also review all building consent applications and determine if there is anything in the proposal that would require a separate resource consent.
Consents planners co-ordinate the assessment process and compile the final assessment report once the other departments have provided their assessments. The consents planners will generally be the point of contact during the consent application process.
Our development engineers assess the consent for compliance with the requirements of the District Plan.
Once the roading and utilities assessment have been carried out (including a site inspection) the proposed roading conditions are forwarded to the relevant consents planner for inclusion in the approved consent.
The development engineers, are also responsible for ensuring subdivisions have building platforms that are free from natural hazards. Slope stability, sediment and flooding/ponding are the two most common concerns within the Waikato district.
The development engineers also need to be satisfied that water supply, stormwater and wastewater can be effectively managed for subdivision or proposed land use, without adversely effecting the environment or the council’s existing infrastructure.
Following the application assessment, the development engineer will forward the report to the consents planner who has been assigned the consent.
Other council departments that may be asked to comment on specific applications are the environmental health officers, legal counsel and the parks and reserves team.
Conditions on consents
The activities that consents are required for are not permitted, therefore most consents will contain conditions if the consent is granted.
It is the consent holder’s responsibility to ensure the conditions of the consent are followed.
Some conditions may be one-off, such as submitting engineering plans for approval. Other conditions may require on-going compliance such as a restriction on noise.
Our regulatory monitoring team actively monitor consents, including old consents, to ensure that any conditions imposed are followed. In cases of non-compliance council staff will try to work through the issues with the consent holder. In extreme cases abatement and enforcement orders may be used to achieve specific environmental or compliance outcomes.
Any application for resource consent, building consent or service connection may be liable to pay development contributions. Read the current 2015/16 Policy and related appendices to find out more.
Further information can be found in our planning information fliers or resource consent forms. Or visit the Ministry for the Environment website.