Southland Regional Council is to decide who is consulted over whether a trial lignite processing plant goes ahead.
Solid Energy announced earlier this year that it plans to turn 150,000 tonnes of coal per year into briquettes for heavy industry at the plant.
Gore District Douncil has decided the plant will be non-notified, which means the public has no input on whether the facility is granted resource consent.
However the regional council says its process will have limited notification, which means it will decide which groups provide input on the consent process.
The council says it will seek input from households directly affected by the plant along with iwi, the Department of Conservation and Fish & Game.