How to apply for Resource Consent

Overview

The following information applies to land use and subdivision consents.

For information on the Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity process visit the Deemed Permitted Boundary Activity page.

To make the process as smooth as possible submit a well-prepared application covering all aspects of your proposal. This will save you both time and processing costs. Contact the Council’s Duty Planner on (06) 366 0999 to discuss your proposed consent to determine what information is required (e.g engineering report or landscape assessment etc.), particularly if you have a larger proposal in mind. 

You can submit your application online, by post, or in person. The information requirements are detailed below.

To apply online, click on the Writeable PDF application form below, type into the form, save a copy for your records and then email the form and any required documentation that needs to be included to recordsprocessing@horowhenua.govt.nz.  If you prefer to complete this by hand, please use the Print PDF.

You can also pay the fees associated with your application online. Please include confirmation of your payment when submitting your electronic application. For full information on how to make payments can be found on the paying us page.  No action will be taken on your application until payment has been receipted by Council and matched to your application.

Please note: Council's firewall will prevent some items from being sent to us. It will also block large files (total file size must not exceed 10 Mb). If you experience difficulty, or need to transfer large files, please contact Council's Customer Experience Team. 

Application Requirements

To apply for resource consent for either land use or subdivision consent, you will need to:

  1. Fill in a Resource Consent Application Form, available on the Resource Consent Application Forms page
  2. Gather the additional information to support your application (e.g certificate of title, scale site plan, elevations, description of the activity, and any relevant expert reports)
  3. Prepare an Assessment of Environmental Effects
  4. If you think neighbours/other parties will be affected by your proposal, it is advisable to obtain written approval from them prior to lodging the application. If you are able to get written approval from all affected people, this will result in time and cost savings in processing your application. Written approval needs to be on the Written Approval Form, available on our Resource Consent Application Forms page. For written approvals to be accepted by Council they must include copies of plans and elevations signed by the affected neighbour/party. To see further information continue onto the consultation with affected parties section.
  5. Pay the relevant deposit fee (see fees and charges)

 

What is an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)?

The AEE is a statement of the effects of a proposed activity on the environment. An AEE must be included with all applications for resource consent. The purpose of an AEE is to:

  • Increase understanding of the environmental effects of your proposal; 
  • Identify ways to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the environment; 
  • Help you take other views into account;
  • Can result in a better design of your proposal.

An application for a Resource Consent is incomplete if it is not accompanied by an AEE. The effects of a proposed activity are a key consideration when an application is assessed.

 

How to Prepare an AEE

When preparing the assessment you should consider and address (where applicable) the following matters:

  • Identify the reason/s Resource Consent is being sought.  You will need to think about your proposal and how it will change the site you intend to use/develop. 
  • Describe the site, including any existing buildings, site features, and the types of activities on surrounding properties.
  • Identify the environmental effects. You should address any effect your proposal may have on those in the neighbourhood or wider community.

    Example: If you propose to open an early childhood centre in a residential area, will it result in noise, traffic, or privacy effects?

  • Identify persons affected by the proposal. 
  • Provide details of any consultation undertaken.
  • Cover both positive and negative effects. If there are any negative effects, consider how these could be avoided, remedied or mitigated. 

    Example: If you propose to open an early childhood centre in a residential area, you may consider noise insulation and fencing, to reduce noise and privacy effects on neighbours.

  • For large-scale activities the assessment will need to cover complex issues which may require professional input.

    Example: If you propose to open an early childhood centre in a residential area, you may require an assessment by an acoustic engineer, to understand the potential noise impact.

  • A good way to start an AEE is to compare your proposal to what you could do on the site as of right and to compare your proposal to activities happening on nearby properties
  • Refer to Chapter 25 of the Horowhenua District Plan for guidance on what effects may arise from your proposal.
  • The Fourth Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991 gives guidance on the scope and content of an AEE. 

Refer to the Ministry for the Environment’s guidance on preparing an AEE or contact the Council’s Duty Planner for further information.

 

Consulting with Affected Parties

Consultation/seeking written approval involves discussing your proposal with parties who may be affected. The purpose of consultation is to find out about potential impacts and concerns so your proposal can be adapted to address or minimise these.

Benefits of this include:

  • The maintenance of good relations between all parties. 
  • Helping to improve understanding of the proposal, reducing resistance towards it. 
  • Providing an opportunity for alternatives to be suggested from other perspectives and to minimise effects on the environment. 
  • Understanding the effects on other people. 
  • Faster and cheaper resource consent process if you are able to avoid notification of the proposal (e.g obtaining written approval from all affected parties, or ensuring adverse effects on all people will be less than minor).

The size and scale of your proposal will generally determine who you should consult and the extent of that consultation. In some cases, this may only need to involve immediate neighbour. In others cases, it may not be possible to consult with everyone who is affected. In these cases, the application is likely to be publicly notified (although some exceptions apply, as detailed above). A starting point to assist you is:

  • Neighbours or adjacent landowners and occupiers 
  • Iwi
  • Department of Conservation
  • Environmental groups 
  • Heritage New Zealand

Council’s Duty Planner can give some guidance on who is likely to be considered affected.  Maintain a record of your consultation, who was consulted, the date, the topics discussed and concerns expressed and any decisions reached.

The information you give the persons or groups being consulted must be clear and straightforward so they can understand it without confusion or misunderstanding. This needs to include an accurate description of the activity you are applying for, such as hours of operation, number of employees etc., any non-compliance with the rules in the District Plan. If the property is rented, you will need to obtain the written approval of both the owner and occupier (renter or tenant).

The written approval needs to be on the correct form, and must be signed by all owners and occupiers of the property. The site plan and elevations, description of the activity, and assessment of the environmental effects must also be signed by all owner and occupiers of the affected property. If any of the above is not done, Council cannot accept the written approval. This may notify in your application being notified.

Council cannot accept ‘conditional approval’ from affected parties (for example, the neighbours signs the affected party form, but writes that their approval is conditional on you planting a hedge to screen their property). If a party you have consulted with requests conditions/changes to your activity and you are prepared to accept these to obtain written approval, you need to clearly include these aspects in your proposal.

 

Application Checklist

Below is a checklist for applications that must be met before Council will accept your application:

  • Name and address of any occupiers/owners of the subject site
  • The type of resource consent you are seeking for example, land use or subdivision. 
  • Other resource consents that are required/being sought from other Councils, such as Horizons Regional Council. 
  • Certificate of title for the subject property. 
  • A locality plan or aerial photograph showing the location of the property. 
  • A site plan drawn to scale showing your proposal, existing buildings and all other features of the land such as hills, waterways, entranceways, native bush etc. 
  • An elevation drawing showing the side views of your proposal for example the height and Daylight Setback for your new house. 
  • An adequate Assessment of Environmental Effects
  • The correct application deposit (note that this is only a deposit. If processing costs exceed the deposit paid, they will be charged on an hourly basis. There is a full list of our current fees available on the Fees and Charges page). 
  • The application form must be signed and dated by the applicant or someone authorised to do so on behalf. 
  • An address for service (email address preferred).