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December 2011 – Planning Newsletter



What a great time of year with Christmas around the corner. Thank you all for the collaborative working relationships that have grown throughout the year. We wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

The office closes down during Christmas and New Years, and as per the RMA, the last working day this holiday season is 19 December 2011, recommencing on 11 January 2012.

Council offices will be closed from midday Friday 23 December 2011 and will re-open at 9:00 am on Wednesday 4 January 2012.

Staff Changes

We finish this year with a couple of staff changes with Rebecca Perrett and Natalie Rutland both off on maternity leave. Their respective roles have been ably filled by Alan Matheson and Claire McKeever.

Please be in contact in the New Year to introduce yourselves. Alan and Claire would be happy to meet you at your offices.

We are also currently filling our two monitoring vacancies (one for a fixed term until Shane returns to us in July 2012).

Development Working Party

The Chief Executive has set up regular meetings with developers which the planners have been involved in, to collaboratively support and drive business initiatives and process changes where appropriate. Your feedback and involvement is invited. Jeff Fletcher is the Developers contact. Alternatively please contact Alan Matheson, Manager: Environmental Planning or Andy Ralph, Manager: Policy

Pre-application Process

It is generally helpful, to both Council and the applicant, if the applicant is able to discuss the application with staff before lodging it. Pre-application discussions enable staff to be familiar with the nature of any applications before they are made, ensures that the applicant is aware of what information should be provided, what consents are required, the scale of effects, affected persons, and the scope of the Assessment of Effects. Processing of applications is generally simpler, quicker and less costly if the applicant has already sought Council’s advice and consulted with anyone who may be affected by the activity.

In order to deliver on this process in an efficient and responsive manner, a project team has been set up to establish a procedure for pre-applications. The team in the first instance will look at matters such as discussed above (i.e. what the applicant could expect for the process), what information would be required from the applicant in order for Council to respond.

Following a draft assessment/guidance sheet, the project team will be seeking input and feedback from the development and consultant community, and Council specialists. Claire McKeever is the contact person, so please be in touch if you have any initial comments and/or would like to be involved. Input will be sought from the Development Working Party.

Resource Consent Application Detail

The suggestion has been made by developers that in some cases, matters of detail could be addressed by conditions of resource consent. The planning team is happy to do this but will need assistance from developers (i.e. in proffering conditions). Come and talk to us about this prior to lodgement. We are happy to provide initial feedback on applications.

Environmental Policy - City Plan

As the year draws to a close the primary focus for the team continues to be the appeals to the City Plan. Whilst we have made good progress on a number of appeals we are still engaged in Court assisted mediation on others which is scheduled to continue in late February/early March next year. Please contact the team or check our website for an update as to where things are at.

And speaking of websites: our dedicated City Plan website (launched to support the review) will close on 16 December 2011. After this date you will need to refer to the Tauranga City Council website where you will find signed Consent Orders and Plan content as well as which provisions are currently under appeal. We will continue to update this as appeals are resolved. Please note that not all of the information from the old website will be transferred so if you can’t find what you’re looking for please contact a member of the Environmental Policy team.

In addition to the appeals we are also working on a number of variations. These variations are in response to issues that have arisen through the implementation of the City Plan and cover subdivision around lawfully established activities, secondary independent dwelling units, CBD parking, the Waterfront Sub-Zone, residential activities, comprehensive development, variation criteria for yards and overshadowing and performance standards. At this stage we are looking at notifying these in March / April 2012 but we’ll keep you updated on this.

Finally, we’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we look forward to working with you all in 2012. Enjoy the break!

Resource Consent Statistics

The table below show the volume of applications lodged with Council and their status for September, October and November 2011. 



Total number of consent applications lodged in the last three months


Total number of consent applications being processed on a notified basis


Total number of consent applications granted in the last three months


Number of appeals outstanding


Percentage of consent applications granted in last three months within statutory timeframes




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Published: Monday, 12 Dec 2011 14:00 by Tauranga City Council