Concerns over consequences of fast-tracked consents

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Fast-tracked consenting may advance at the expense of local decision making, producing "unintended consequences", the Dunedin City Council appears set to argue.

The council’s infrastructure services committee is set to discuss today a draft submission for the government about the Fast-track Approvals Bill, which aims to speed up decision making about infrastructure or development projects with significant national or regional benefits.

The council has indicated it is worried about the potential for local planning to be undermined.

It identified "unintended consequences for infrastructure or the environment where decisions are rushed" as the main risk.

The council signalled a lack of comfort with the extent of power that might rest with the government ministers of regional development, infrastructure and transport.

The draft submission said it preferred decisions to be made by "expert panels consisting of members that have experience relevant to environmental management".

Decisions from the fast-track process could also influence council costs, the council said.