Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s consent application lodgement process will be returning to requiring minimum fees to be paid at the beginning.
From Tuesday 24 October, Council requires minimum fees to be paid upfront for applications for resource consents and consent variations, as well as applications for post decision processes (EDA and 223/224).
Council’s General Manager Regulatory Services, Alison Curtis, says it follows a review of the current approach and aligns it with neighbouring councils.
“By requiring minimum fees to be paid at the start of the process once again, we’re operating more effectively on a user pay as you go basis,” explains Alison.
“One of benefits for consent applicants is if the upfront fee covers a significant amount, if not all the costs of processing the consent. If there are no additional costs, then the decision can be released immediately at the end of the process.”
Council moved away from requiring fees at lodgement in April 2020, to provide relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, to reduce the onus of cost on Council at the start of the process, a decision has been made to require upfront payments again.
“Council processes around 450 resource consents and post-decision processes annually, but we are also involved in additional processes like Land Information Memorandums (LIMs).
“As we have been covering the upfront costs during this process, it does mean we carry a high level of consent debt which has the potential to impact wider Council service delivery,” explains Alison.