Process focus: The ins and outs of written approvals for RMA consents
When is written approval required?
As part of the resource consent process, it is Council’s role to determine whether or not there are people ‘affected’ by the proposal.
When we’re making a decision on limited notification, we look to see whether someone is an “affected person” - the test for this is whether the proposal has adverse effects on them that are ‘minor or more than minor, (but are not less than minor)’.
For a resource consent written approval is not something that is required to be provided with an application – it can make the process cheaper and easier.
For the new Permitted Boundary Activity (PBA) process, written approvals are required from all neighbours on infringed boundaries – remembering that a PBA can’t be issued for an infringement of a public boundary.
Why should I provide written approvals with my land use or subdivision application?
You may wish to provide written approvals up front so that we can disregard the effects on those parties. If all the affected parties that we have identified provide written approval, this can save you considerable time and money through avoiding the need for the consent to be limited notified and the risks of a hearing and the possibility of appeals. It is therefore be worthwhile to approach each affected party to explain your proposals and to seek their approval.
Where do I find the written approval forms?
Click here to find the forms for Land use and subdivision applications.
Click here to find the forms for Permitted boundary activities – i.e. if a building only fails a boundary setback to a neighbour
Can I provide Council with conditional approval?
Conditional approval means that you or the other party write on the plans something like: ‘I give my approval on the condition that no trees on the newly created lot will be over 1 metre in height’.
Waikato District Council cannot accept a conditional approval. You will need to either approach the person for a new written approval which does not contain conditions, or council will need to ignore that written approval.
It’s possible to have a side agreement, outside of the resource consent process, between an applicant and affected party to cover agreed matters, but this would not form part of the resource consent application and is not part of the Council process.
Completing the Affected Person’s Written Approval Form
- Approval provided must be obtained from all owners and occupiers of a property
- The persons providing written approval are required to sight, sign and date any relevant plans, such as site and elevation plans or the subdivision plan
- Check you have used the correct Affected Person’s Written Approval Form
How do I know who is an affected person?
It won’t be until the consent goes through its formal process that we will do a thorough assessment of who is affected. Therefore, it’s up to you to get approvals from all parties you think are affected – sometimes it’s obvious, other times it’s a bit trickier to determine. Give us a call and we can give you some direction but please be aware we can’t promise that in the fullness of the notification assessment other affected parties won’t be identified. Don’t worry if you miss some, when we process the application and come to a decision on notification we will usually call you prior to signing the decision. We do this when there are people that we consider to be affected but we haven’t got unconditional written approvals from them. The purpose of our call is to give you the opportunity to seek the written approvals of those affected parties before proceeding to notification.