Monday, June 24, 2024

Christchurch council set to reject private plan change

Protecting people and property from flooding is one of the drivers behind a District Plan change being proposed by Christchurch City Council as part of a package of amendments.

The plan change, which is at the pre-notification stage, aims to improve the management of  buildings and earthworks near the Waimakariri River stopbanks to avoid risk to life and structural damage from flooding.

Three commissioners will consider an application for a Private Plan change that seeks to extend the commercial zone to the north of the Homebase retail park on Marshland Road.

A hearing has been scheduled for the end of July to consider the application, lodged by Reefville Properties Limited, and the public submissions received on it.

Christchurch City Council’s planning report on the Private Plan Change will also be presented during the hearing. That report will recommend the plan change request is rejected on a number of grounds.

“As part of adapting to a changing climate that is likely to bring more extreme weather events, we need to look at how we manage development in areas that are potentially at risk of flooding. One of the ways we can do that is through our planning rules,’’ said Council Head of Policy and Strategic Transport, David Griffiths.

“If the Waimakariri stopbanks were to fail in a major storm event, there is potential for severe flooding to occur so it makes sense for us to use the District Plan to limit the risk, where possible, by having controls in place for both upstream and downstream developments.”

The plan change is one of a suite of changes – collectively known as Plan Change 9 – the Council is proposing to improve the Christchurch District Plan and to make the policies and rules clearer and easier to apply.

The other changes include:

  • Reinforcing that residential zones are mainly for living, while limiting unsuitable activities such as industrial land uses. Also managing the negative impacts of existing and proposed non-residential activities – such as health centres or retail outlets – so residents in the surrounding area continue to enjoy a high quality of living. Effects of these activities can vary and may include noise and traffic or parking issues.
  • Managing negative impacts on the central city transport network caused by development, as well as making the development requirements for vehicle access and cycle and mobility parking clearer and more appropriate to the needs of users.
  • Limiting the ability to subdivide land within the Air Noise Boundary surrounding Christchurch International Airport. Currently a landowner can apply for resource consent to subdivide but not to build a house.
  • Extending the ability for Lyttelton Port activities to continue on land zone Commercial, on the south side of Norwich Quay, until 2036.
  • Protecting airspace for emergency radio communication and day to day operation of essential services by preventing development of new buildings that block that space, impacting the ability to communicate.

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