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What does a professional planner do?

By Rose Leighton | Oct 08, 2021

Acquiring resource consent can involve several different professionals, including planners, surveyors, lawyers, landscape architects, engineers, and ecologists. So how does planning differ from other professions and when should you engage one?

Planners that work in resource management can help you identify the issues and effects of your proposal and put together an application for submission to council. This application will address site constraints, the proposal, an assessment of all relevant rules and other matters in the District Plan, and an assessment of any effects your proposal may produce.

As well as your planner, it is common for other professionals to be involved in the application process, such as acoustic engineers, ecologists, landscape architects or traffic engineers. Your planner will work with you in the preliminary stages to identify if any specific reports are needed, or if any changes are required to the proposal to create a stronger application. Planners are able to interpret and apply rules in a case-by-case manner, allowing us to assess the severity and type of non-compliances, and provide advice as to how to progress your application.

If your application is for a subdivision or boundary adjustment, then a surveyor will be required. They can perform site surveys to provide accurate boundary information, prepare a scheme plan showing the future subdivision, and set out your proposed boundaries. This information supports the report that planners prepare for submission to council and will form the basis of an assessment against the District Plan. Alternatively, if your application is for a land use consent, an architectural designer may be required in order to develop the design of any proposal buildings and how they are set out on your site. These are just a few examples of information and other professionals that may be required to develop a complete application.

Planning does not often perform as an isolated profession, and instead is accompanied by myriad disciplines that work in adjacent fields. Through this, planners can be precise in what they require from other professionals based on the applicable rules, the type of development being proposed and the site itself.

Planners have the knowledge and expertise that will assist your project or development in achieving the support it needs to gain approval. While planning consultants cannot ultimately determine the outcome of your proposal, they can guide you through the process and mediate with council to resolve any issues that may come up.

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