A shortage of planning staff and high demand for services is causing delays in building and resource consents being granted in Nelson.
Nelson City Council said it's dealing with a nationwide shortage of experienced and qualified planning staff.
It is also seeing an increase in demand for consents in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday break.
Environmental Management acting group manager Jo Martin said people needed to be prepared for potential delays.
"We appreciate the public's patience while we are short-staffed and trust we can work together to ensure you have a consent that is fit for purpose, albeit it may take longer than we would like.
"In this climate, it is more vital than ever that applicants ensure they provide all the information required at the start of the application process and identify their deadlines so the team can work to that as much as possible, streamlining procedures while still meeting the requirements under the Resource Management Act."
The council was usually able to process consents within the statutory twenty working day timeframe, but some were taking longer than that.
People were asked to plan ahead and allow more time than usual to complete a build, particularly if product substitution was required.
Martin said the council understood people needed certainty to move forward with their plans and apologised for the potential impact any delays could have on projects.