Rates, Building and Property

Apply for resource consent

Find out when you need resource consent, how to apply, and things to look out for.

When you want to build or use your land in a way that does not comply with the rules or is not specified as a permitted activity in the District Plan, you will need to get special permission from Council. A resource consent is the permission the Council gives you to use a resource or carry out an activity.

For example, you may be building a new house and you cannot meet the required height rule, or will be close to a boundary you share with a neighbour. The activities for which consents are required can play a role in shaping where you might live or run your business.

If you are applying for a resource consent to subdivide a property, build a dwelling or non-residential building, relocate a house or connect services to an existing site, you may need to pay a development contribution.

If you meet all the required rules, you will not need a resource consent. If you think a proposed site use like a home business or other business activity meets the rules, you may want to apply for a Certificate of Compliance. This is a legal document that Council issues to certify that you comply with all the relevant rules of the District Plan.

If you are in doubt, call our Customer Services Team on 06 356 8199 and we'll help you out.

How do I apply for a resource consent?

If you know what rules you cannot meet and are ready to apply for a resource consent, you can download an application form from this page or phone 06 356 8199 and ask us to send you one in the post.

The application form includes a checklist of the relevant information you need to submit. 

You are also required to submit a written assessment of environmental effects. Your assessment should detail any likely adverse effects of your proposal on the land or environment, and how you will avoid, mitigate or remedy them. The size of the assessment should be in line with the scale of the project.   

It's a good idea to speak to a duty planning officer at the Council before you lodge a resource consent, to ensure you have all the information you need to submit your application. The duty planning officer can answer any questions you have about preparing an application or writing an assessment of environmental effects.

Alternatively, you may wish to seek advice from a private planning consultant.

Find a planning consultant (external website) 

Submitting a resource consent application

We are unable to accept electronic applications. You can bring your application and deposit fee to the duty planner desk at the Council Customer Service Centre on the Square, or mail it to us with a cheque.

Resource Consent Administrator
Palmerston North City Council
Private Bag 11034
Manawatū Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442

Frequently asked questions about resource consents

How much is the deposit fee?

Please refer to the fees and charges booklets in the downloads section of this page.

Do I have to tell my neighbour or anyone else about my proposal?

It is courteous to talk to your neighbours when you have a proposal in mind or before starting construction work. However, you are not legally required to do so unless your project requires a resource consent and we consider that anyone else is likely to be affected. 

Can I stop my neighbour's proposal going ahead?

If the project is permitted by District Plan rules, then you have no legal ability to become involved. However you can contact the Council for more information about a proposal. If you are concerned about your neighbour's proposal, we recommend you talk to them about your concerns.

How long will it take for Council to process my resource consent application?

The statutory timeframe for processing a resource consent is 20 working days. The Council may extend the timeframe under section 37 of the Resource Management Act. If we have to contact you for more information to help us process your application, we 'stop the clock' and put your application on hold until we have received it.

How long does my resource consent last for?

A resource consent is granted for an unlimited time unless otherwise specified. However, the consent will lapse if you do not use it within five years or any other period specified in the consent. If your consent is due to lapse, you can apply to Council to extend it within three months before it expires.

When can I start my activity or work?

You may start as soon as you receive a decision, subject to you meeting any conditions set as part of your consent and being issued with a performance certificate.