Get your consents off to a good start

Publish Date : 19 Dec 2016
Pre-application meetings
Pre-application meetings can involve a client’s professional representatives who meet face to face with council experts. Left to right Daniel Brown, team leader Resource Consents, Shannon Joyce, of planning consultancy Barker and Associates, and architect Ken Crosson discuss a customer’s consent requirements.

Auckland Council wants to help customers develop better consent applications through encouraging pre-application meetings.

“A key problem is that lots of applicants don’t provide all the necessary information in their consent application, which then causes delays in the processing,” says Resource Consents general manager Ian Smallburn.

Ian says the council has seen that a pre-application meeting helps iron out a lot of issues. It gives customers clarity on what information council wants to see in the consent application and helps them save time and money.

“We suggest you talk to us before submitting your application – and that applies to the experts as well as first-time mum and dad applicants building or renovating,” says Ian.

The process

The council offers an initial free 15-minute meeting to ask questions about your project and what consents and permits may be required. You can have this meeting in person, by phone or email.

If needed, you can then book a pre-application meeting for either a building consent or resource consent at a fixed fee of $287 for a standard proposal. More complex proposals require an initial deposit of $287, with further costs depending on the number of council specialists required.

Advice from a 'big fan' 

Gerard Thompson, Principal of Barker Associates, a leading planning consultancy, is a 'big fan' of pre-application meetings.

“We use them for almost all our jobs. I can do four or five a week,” he says.

“If you do it at a reasonably early stage, you can sit down with the council experts and work through what you are planning and see what’s required – or even what information may not be required, which can equally be a saving.

“There are big benefits for the design stage. You address any concerns early so you don’t go down a path that might be hard to correct.”

He adds: “We see savings in both time and costs. We advise clients that $287 is money well spent to avoid delays and further information requests.”

More improvements on the way

The council is also working on further improvements to make consenting easier and will soon progressively launch online consenting for all building and resource consent applications.

Mr Thompson says his firm is looking forward to its introduction in 2017.

“To instantly transmit all our documents is a huge saving in time and printing costs. We currently have to employ someone just to coordinate all the documentation.

“It shows the council cares enough to make improvements, especially in the face of the challenges in making these things work. In the six years since amalgamation we’ve seen things steadily improve and it’s very encouraging.”

Find out more about pre-application meetings and consenting improvements.

Back to News