Non-notification under RMA not unreasonable, but Council should include community involvement in decision

Local Government
Ombudsmen Act 1975
Related legislation:
Resource Management Act 1991
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1975; Resource Management Act 1991
Local Authority
Sir Brian Elwood
Case number(s):
Issue date:

Non-notification of resource consent application allowed—Resource Management Act 1991, s 94

An applicant sought consent from a District Council to relocate a dwelling on to a rural block. The Council considered the matter and decided that both parts of section 94 of the Resource Management Act 1991 had been met, that is the adverse effect on the environment would be minor and that no one would be adversely affected. The decision was made not to notify and as the application met the requirements of the District Plan, consent was granted.

The immediate neighbours then complained that the building in their opinion was substandard, that it obstructed their view and served to diminish the value of their property. They argued that the application should have been notified so as to give them a right of objection.

The investigation confirmed that the Council had followed the correct procedures and its delegated officer was entitled to make the decisions he did. However, the complainants continued to maintain that they had been seriously affected and their rights ignored. The view reached was that although the complaint could not be sustained, the issues surrounding the application needed more careful handling by all the parties to ensure reasonable community relationships continued after the added structure was in place.

This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.

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