By Rose Leighton, Planner, Baseline Group | Aug 15, 2022
When considering applications, Council planning staff determine if any neighbours will be affected, or if the wider environment will be affected. If they decide there are effects, and they are significant enough they make the decision to either notify neighbours affected directly, or publicly notify an application.
If you are considered as an affected neighbour, the developer may come to you directly to seek your written approvals. Alternatively, you may hear about it through a letter directly from the Council. This is known as limited notification, where only a limited number of affected parties are given the opportunity to have any concerns heard.
If an application is publicly notified it is listed on Selwyn Council’s website and in local papers. Individuals are generally not specifically notified even when they are neighbours to the development. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date with Councils website, or notices in the paper to ensure you’re able to have your say, if you believe a development will affect you.
During the process of notification, there is a period of 20 working days in which people are able to make a submission in opposition, support or a neutral view. Your submission needs to address the aspects of the application which you oppose, support or are neutral towards, and the reasons why. To simply say you do not want development is not sufficient. Your submission also needs to specify the decision you want made and if you want to be heard at a hearing. You may wish to seek the support of a lawyer or planning advisor to support you in preparing a successful submission.
If you want to speak to the decision makers about your concerns, you have the opportunity to request the decision made at a hearing. You then get to speak to your submission at a hearing. You may wish to work together with other submitters who hold similar views. Submitters to development projects often get experts to support their point of view and provide evidence on the key issues as part of a hearings process. It is recommended that you engage experts early to ensure they have input into your submission to be able to support your concerns. Experts might include planning, traffic or noise experts, depending on the type of development.
Whether you would like to understand the submission and hearings process better, know the costs associated, or construct your submission on a notified application, a good place to start is by seeking advice from a planning consultant.
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