There will be a maximum six month time limit for processing resource consents for medium-sized projects like new subdivisions, under the second phase of Resource Management Act reforms announced by Prime Minister John Key today.
Councils that did not meet that timeframe would be penalised 1% of the application fee per day the consent was late.
There were around 1,600 'medium-sized' projects such as subdivisions, new retail developments and regional infrastructure processed in a year, Key said. These projects were ones that required notification.
Delays in processing resource consents were a huge frustration for businesses trying to expand, invest and create jobs, Key said in a statement.
“This is good news for businesses and for our economy because it means notified consents for medium-sized developments are processed quickly," Key said.
“It comes on top of National’s first phase of reforms, which reduced costs, uncertainties and delays for those building large national infrastructure and small non-notified consents,” he said.
National’s next phase of reforms would also address the problems identified in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes.
“Councils should have to consider natural hazard risks such as liquefaction prior to approving new subdivisions,” Key said.
National would also introduce changes to streamline the multiple planning processes of the Resource Management Act, Land Transport Management Act, and Local Government Act.
“We want to build on the work from the Technical Advisory Groups on urban design, so we do the planning only once and then get on with the work," he said.
(Updates with penalty)