After the preferred concept design is selected, the information gathered will be sufficient to approach the council with specific questions about design limitations and the required consents. The following interactions are recommended:
- use the 15 minutes of free advice offered to find out if the project requires resource consent
- request a pre-application meeting to review the proposal with council staff. The Design Statement can be a helpful tool to discuss the proposal with council officers.
- apply for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) which is a report that, based on the proposed location and bulk of the building, provides additional technical information regarding the site, its services, and applicable regulations.
- Eco-Design Advisors provide two hours of free consultation in which they evaluate your design and recommend strategies to achieve your sustainability objectives.
Generally, a resource consent
is required if a project doesn’t comply with local planning rules which are outlined in the relevant District Plan. The resource consent application contains an Assessment of Environmental Effects which outlines which rules have been infringed, by how much, and what the impact on the surrounding environment is. The relevant District Plan will contain the rules relevant to your site, but in some cases the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan may be applicable as well. Planning documents can be complex and it is worth having a meeting with a council Planner as soon as possible to understand what rules are applicable to the site. Having a planner as part of the design team is a necessity on more complex projects.
Auckland Council has to grant consent within statutory timeframes, but these can be extended if more information is required or the project is complex. It is important to submit a well-prepared and comprehensive resource consent application, and a pre-application meeting will be very helpful in ensuring everything progresses smoothly.
It is recommended that applications for resource consent be submitted at the end of preliminary design. However, designers may have preferences regarding the correct time to do this based on previous experience, the nature of the project, its constraints and risks. Depending on its complexity, different professionals may need to be engaged to submit the application. The information in your application should reflect any guidance given by council officers in a pre-application meeting. Typically a resource consent application includes:
- an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
- written approval from affected parties, usually immediate neighbours. It is important to note that a project can still be granted consent by the council even if the neighbours (or other affected parties) do not give approval.
- a set of architectural drawings showing the proposed development. If designers have produced a Design Statement, the same set of documents may be used in the application.