RMA changes help property investors

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Property investors adding a deck or some similar renovation to their property should have a much less difficult issue with resource consents.

By The Landlord

That at least is the promise in the government’s Resource Management reforms announced yesterday.

The main points in the announcement by Environment Minister Nick Smith relate to large projects, but Smith says owners of small properties who want to make changes will also be helped.”

“At the moment the council official has no power to say in effect ‘the effects of this change are minor so we won't go through the expense of a full resource consent process.’ This will change that.”

Examples he gave of unnecessary resource consent processes include someone adding a deck to a house or putting up a clothesline.

“And there are 5,000 resource consents a year just for people to trim a tree.”

The changes also include:

•    Removing the current presumption in favour of notification of resource consent applications and amending the criteria for when public notification is required on projects with more than minor effects on the wider environment.
•    Simplifying the reporting requirements for council decisions and removing the need for material to be repeated in subsequent hearings or reports.
•    Stop councils inserting “blanket” tree protection rules in urban areas.
•    Limit the ability for local authorities to ‘stop the processing clock’ during requests for further information from applicants.
•    Require all councils to pay discounts to applicants if consents are processed late.

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