Talking through the issues is resolving more resource consent applications in the Waikato before a public hearing is needed.
This week’s Environment Waikato Regulatory Committee meeting heard that the number of hearings needed on resource consents in the Region has dropped by half, as meetings between applicants and submitters concerned about proposals resolved issues.
The Council dealt with a total of 1088 consents in the last year, 19 more than the previous year, but fewer needed to be publicly notified. Staff were able to deal with 88 percent without public notification.
Resource Use Group Manager Harry Wilson said only 64 applications resulted in a public hearing in the last year compared with 123 the previous year. More than half were resolved without a hearing, compared with 29 percent the previous year. Only 47 percent of notified applications required a hearing, compared with 71 percent the previous year.
The number of appeals against decisions also dropped from 65 the previous year to 30 last year, and a smaller percentage of decisions were appealed.
However appeals had cost $378,000 in the last year, with one major appeal costing $247,00. Bad debt write-off had also affected the financial bottom line. Revenue had increased by $500,000 but bad debt and the cost of one appeal had taken the group over budget, he said.
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