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Resource Consent Applications Maintained Through Lockdown

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, the first 22 weeks of the year have been busy for the Council Resource Consents Team.

Over this time the Council received 395 resource consent applications. Of those, 366 were new applications for resource consent, 25 were applications for variations to resource consent conditions under section 127 of the Resource Management Act (RMA), three extensions to lapsed dates under section 125, and one objection to conditions under section 357. In the same 22-week period in 2019 Council received 386 applications, and in 2018 373 applications were received.

In the first 22 weeks of 2020 the Council issued 448 decisions. Of that total, 408 were for new applications for resource consent. Council also issued 37 section 127 decisions (variations to resource consent conditions) and three section 125 (extension to lapse dates). In the same period in 2019 and 2018 Council issued 398 decisions and 412 decisions respectively.

Resource Consents and Compliance Group Manager Gina Ferguson said it appeared the lockdown had had little effect so far on the level of planned activity in Marlborough.

“At the moment it feels like business as usual in Marlborough. Whether we see a slowdown in consent activity later this year is hard to predict.”

“It’s possible that people had more time during the lockdown to progress their plans. It will be interesting to see what happens during winter and then into spring.”

Over the lockdown the team also worked on improvements to the Council’s Duty Planner Service, with a refreshed online process launched on the first day of Level 3 restrictions. The refresh has focussed on streamlining the service so that it can better meet demand.

“Improvements have been made to the information on the Council’s website and the team has committed to a target response time of 48 hours from receipt,” Ms Ferguson says.

“So far the new service has received positive feedback from our customers.”

Further information about the Duty Planner Service is here

Editor’s note: A duty planner provides general guidance on whether it is likely that someone requires a resource consent for the activity they wish to undertake, and can provide general advice on the resource consent process. This is provided in writing following Council receiving a written request for assistance. The service cannot provide an assessment of a proposed activity in detail or help someone prepare an application. Once someone has received their advice from the duty planner, it’s recommended they engage a professional with experience to guide them through the resource consenting process.

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