The council officer needs to determine if all the necessary resource consents have been applied for (and whether all non-compliances have been addressed). In order to make this judgement, the council officer needs to check for compliance with the relevant plan(s) rules and relevant matters under the RMA. When undertaking this check, the council officer should also make note of:
- the degree of non-compliance
- whether the relevant rule(s) in a plan or national environmental standard (NES) precludes or requires notification
- Whether public notification is precluded by s95A(5) RMA
- the activity status of each non-compliance
- whether the plan requires any particular affected party's written approvals or conversely whether the plan expressly does not require written approvals
- whether written approvals have been obtained
- the type of activity and the associated environmental effects likely to occur from a permitted activity on the site.
If the applicant has not addressed all of the reasons for resource consent or non-compliances, the applicant should be requested to acknowledge any outstanding non-compliance(s) in writing. This ensures the applicant is aware of all of the reasons for resource consent and to ensure that any actual or potential effects arising from additional non-compliances are addressed. Section 91 allows the council to defer the notification or hearing of an application for a resource consent if it considers on reasonable grounds that additional resource consent(s) are required with respect to the proposal, and it is appropriate for the purposes of better understanding the nature of the proposal that those applications should be made before proceeding further. If this determination is made, then the applicant is to be notified forthwith of that determination. It should be noted that the applicant may apply to the Environment for the reversal of this decision.
The council officer should also check whether the proposal is a boundary activity (defined in s87AAB), and if so whether the applicant has provided all the necessary information (and relevant written approvals) outlined in s 87BA to be deemed as a permitted boundary activity. If it is determined that all the relevant information has been provided to qualify as a deemed permitted boundary activity, then the council must give notice to the applicant (within 10 working days of lodgement), stating the proposed activity is a permitted activity, and return the resource consent application.
Keep a record of the check against the plan rules on the consent file so it can be easily referred to throughout the processing of the application. This will also allow other council officers to answer queries about the application in the absence of the actual processing officer.