When the application is accepted for processing, the formal acceptance of application letter can include information on possible additional charges and timing, and let the applicant know an estimate of costs can be made available. If an applicant requests an estimate, the basis for charging fees and an estimate of the total cost and time of assessing and processing an application should be provided.
The information on costs and processing times supplied should make it clear that any figures are in fact 'estimates' and that variances may occur. Notwithstanding this, there is a responsibility to provide estimates that are as accurate as possible. If during processing an application, incurred costs are likely to exceed the estimated costs, then applicants should be advised before the extra costs are incurred. Cost estimates should state whether they are inclusive or exclusive of GST.
Applicants should also be informed about the Resource Management (Discount on Administrative Charges) Regulations 2010 or the Council’s own discount policy, whichever is relevant where the consent is not processed within statutory time frames.