A downturn in the number of resource consent applications
being lodged with the Otago Regional Council is a reflection of
the state of the Otago economy, council resource management
director Selva Selvarajah says.
Revenue the council received from resource consents has
dropped 54% in the past five years while applications have
Between the 2007-08 financial year and 2011-12 there had also
been a 53.5% drop in consents decided, figures released by
the Otago Regional Council show.
The most recent figures for last year up to November 9 showed
167 consents had been lodged and in the four months to
October resource consent fee revenue had dropped 6% compared
with what was expected.
Dr Selvarajah said in the past two years there had been a
reduction in consent applications.
There was a trend of new applications, as opposed to those
needing renewal, dropping since 2008 as the large number of
applications relating to new subdivisions declined, including
developments at Cardrona, Luggate and Jacks Point.
Publicly notified projects, the most costly, had dropped from
75 in 2008-09 to 12 in 2011-12 and decisions on publicly
notified applications dropped from 267 in 2007-08 to 74 in
''It's a reflection on the regional economy. Things seem to
have slowed down,'' Dr Selvarajah said.
A large backlog had been created in the mid-2000s because
demands outstripped council resources. There were also more
large projects, such as those related to Contact Energy, in
''A lot with sunset clauses requiring resource consents came
through - like [those] from old irrigation schemes - and were
sitting in the system.''
The council employed more staff to deal with consents and
then in 2009 the Resource Management Act streamlining process
required consents to be dealt with in a more timely manner.
''So from there it has gone down quite a bit.''