Before an application is formally accepted for processing, it is necessary to check a number of matters to ensure it is complete. Particular emphasis should be placed on only accepting complete applications under s88 which are in the prescribed form and manner and include any prescribed information requirements, and/or an adequate AEE in accordance with Schedule 4. The details of this process are outlined in Receipt of an Application guidance note.
Once the application has been formally accepted for processing, the application must be allocated to the appropriate planning officer. It is also good practice for the council officer allocating applications to allocate them to officers with the relevant level of competency for each application. For example, more complicated or contentious applications should be allocated to the more experienced officers with simpler applications going to those with less experience. It is also ideal for the application to be allocated to the council officer who dealt with the s88 completeness check if possible, as they will already be familiar with the application.
To familiarise themselves with the application, the processing officer should undertake an in-depth assessment of the completeness/thoroughness/ and accuracy of the information supplied in the application.
Much of the assessment outlined below should [in part] have been undertaken at pre-acceptance stage, however the processing planner needs to assess the application in greater detail.
The key functions of assessing the application include:
- checking whether appropriate consents have been applied for
- checking whether all appropriate effects have been identified and addressed and whether there are others that need addressing to meet the requirements for AEE’s in Schedule 4 of the RMA
- determining the extent of the effects and who may be adversely affected
- checking if it is a fast track application under s87AAC, or deemed permitted boundary activity under s87AAB and s87BA or a permitted activity under 87BB RMA