Sometimes parties that have been approached through the consultation process may advise the council they object to the proposal before it is lodged. In such instances, council officers should advise these parties that
- the proposal might change before it is lodged - potentially as a result of the consultation.
- they should also be raising their concerns directly with the applicant.
- the council has certain processing procedures to go through with the application once it is lodged, and during this period, notification will be addressed.
- just because they have been consulted, they will not necessarily be considered an affected party, or notified directly if the application is publicly or limited notified.
- until the application is notified, there is no formal ability to object to the proposal.
Parties should be advised when the specific application has been lodged. Councils may consider developing a standard letter to respond to objections received before an application is lodged, informing of the resource consent procedures and the right to object.
However, any issues raised with council before an application is submitted must be adequately included and considered in the officer's report. This will help ensure that a balanced and informed decision is made by the decision-maker.