A Resource Consent is the Council's permission to carry out an activity which may have an impact on the environment. A resource consent is required if your proposal does not comply with one or more of the ‘permitted activity’ rules in the Hastings District Plan.
The District Plan divides activities into categories which determine:
- whether or not a resource consent application is required, and
- whether resource consent must be granted or can be refused and what conditions, if any, could be imposed.
Any proposed activity or structure requires a land-use and/or subdivision consent unless it is a permitted activity and fully complies with all the relevant rules in the District Plan. If you would like certainty for those activities that do not need a resource consent, you can apply for a Certificate of Compliance.
If more than one resource consent is required for your development, you are encouraged to lodge all applications at the same time with the relevant Councils. You may also need a resource consent from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
The Resource Consent Hierarchy
There are six different levels of activities which are:
Permitted Activities are those which can proceed as of right, because they comply in all respects with relevant Standards and Terms (rules) specified in the District Plan. Where an activity does not comply with one or more of the relevant rules, the District Plan will indicate how it may be considered
A resource consent is required for these activities. Provided the proposal meets the District Plan standards this type of consent has to be granted, and conditions can be imposed to control the effects of the activity. Applications for controlled activities may be non-notified, and without the need for written approval from affected persons.
Restricted Discretionary Activities
A resource consent is required for these activities. When considering an application the Council has limited (or restricted) its discretion to particular matters listed in the District Plan. Council can grant or refuse the application and can impose conditions:
Council will restrict the exercise of its discretion to the ability of the activity to achieve the particular Outcomes of the General or Specific Performance Standards and Terms which it fails to meet and to achieve the assessment criteria for Restricted Discretionary activities in the zone or District Wide Activity section to which the application applies
A resource consent is required for these activities. The applications at this level will be assessed according to criteria set out in the District Plan, and Council has the discretion to grant or refuse the consent.
A resource consent is required for these activities. Non-complying activities are activities that are not necessarily prohibited, but which:
- breach standards contained in the District Plan, or
- are not provided for in the District Plan. For example an office building in the Residential Zone.
Consent for these activities will only be granted if:
- any adverse environmental effects they may have will be minor, or
- the activity will not be contrary to the Objectives and Policies of the District Plan.
Resource consent applications will not be accepted for activities which are specified as prohibited under the District Plan. For example oil and gas exploration over the unconfined aquifer are prohibited activities.
The only way to change the status of prohibited activities is to change the District Plan itself.