We’ve put together some answers to common questions below.
What if my housing proposal isn’t eligible for the Streamlined Housing Process?
Not all housing proposals are eligible for the Streamlined Housing Process. Where a proposal isn’t eligible, the standard resource consenting process can be used.
You can discuss the District Plan requirements that will apply to what you're looking to do with a Council Planning Officer.
Will I need to engage any professional help to prepare an application for the Streamlined Housing Process?
The Streamlined Housing Process includes Design Approaches with technical solutions that applicants can use to inform their proposal. These can reduce the likelihood of needing to engage an urban designer and stormwater engineer in developing the proposal and enables applicants to undertake the early design concepts.
It's recognised that the resource consent application needs to include plans for the buildings to be constructed, so applicants are likely to need to engage an architect/designer prior to the pre-application meeting. The consent application form does not specifically need to be completed by a planning or land development agent however their experience in doing this on a regular basis means they'll be able to prepare this faster and meet the necessary requirements first time.
Is the Streamlined Housing Process faster than the usual consent process?
There are a range of factors that will influence how long it takes for a consent to be processed. Within the Streamlined Housing Process there are several aspects that have been built in to help streamline the process and provide opportunity for the consents to be processed quicker than a standard consent. If the Streamlined Housing Process pre-qualification and pre-application meetings raise matters that are addressed ahead of the application being lodged and all the necessary information is provided, then the application is less likely to be subject to delays that can occur when further information is required.
How much does the Streamlined Housing Process cost?
The resource consent processing fees are set in Horowhenua District Council’s annual Fees & Charges schedule. The fees are based on a deposit and then are time-based calculated on an hourly rate.
Council has decided that the fees for Streamlined Housing Process applications that do not need to be notified will be capped at $4,500. This means that should the total fees for an application be $3,000 this would be what the applicant would pay. If the total application fees came to $5,000, the applicant would only pay the capped fee of $4,500.
What if I want to use the Streamlined Housing Process Design Approaches for a site outside the Streamlined Housing Process locations (the current locations are Levin, Foxton, Foxton Beach and Shannon)?
The Design Approaches include well-considered urban design and engineering technical solutions that contribute to good quality urban development outcomes regardless of the site’s location. There would still be benefits to using these Design Approaches to inform proposals outside the Streamlined Housing Process areas, the key difference being that applications for these proposals would follow the standard consent process and be assessed against the District Plan requirements.
Is the Streamlined Housing Process a pilot process?
The Streamlined Housing Process has been introduced as a pilot process to test the effectiveness of the process in delivering affordable housing, one and two bedroom houses and different housing types. If successful, then Council will consider formally changing the District Plan to make the Streamlined Housing Process part of the District Plan rules (this could include making some additional refinements or improvements to the current process). If it is identified that the process is not achieving the intended outcome or it is creating other unintended adverse outcomes, then Council will consider withdrawing the process and reverting to only offering the standard consent process.
Why can’t I apply for the subdivision consent through the Streamlined Housing Process?
The Streamlined Housing Process requires that applicants apply for either a land use consent (where all residential dwellings are in the same ownership) or a combined land use and subdivision consent (new titles are created). A key aspect of the Streamlined Housing Process is being able to determine and assess the effects of the buildings and ensure that the overall development of the site achieves good outcomes, such as well-functioning homes and appropriately sized and organised spaces. A subdivision application would only allow for consideration of the lot sizes and subdivision layout.
Why are second-hand relocated buildings not eligible to be part of the Streamlined Housing Process?
Council has made the decision that second-hand relocated dwellings are not eligible for this process. This is because there are usually a range of additional conditions and requirements that become relevant to ensuring that the relocated dwelling is reinstated to a suitable standard.
The opportunity to use relocated buildings in a housing development remains possible through the standard consent process. You can discuss this with Council’s Planning Officers.
I have done this before - can I skip the pre-qualification and pre-application meetings and just lodge my Streamlined Housing Proposal?
No, the pre-qualification meeting and pre-application meeting are both important parts of identifying any potential issues or aspects before the designs are finalised. The meetings also identify the matters that need to be addressed before the application is lodged. This is intended to reduce the need for further information being requested after the application has been lodged. These meetings also have the benefit of allowing officers to be familiar with the proposal ahead of it being lodged, which also helps with the processing.
What do I need to do once the resource consent is granted?
If you haven’t done so already, you'll need to apply for building consents for the new dwellings.
Your resource consent decision will outline the conditions that you're required to meet before construction can commence, before new property titles can be issued (if applicable) and before the dwellings can be occupied.