Christchurch City Council is proposing the creation of 11 Residential Heritage Areas (RHAs) as part of its District Plan for the city.
Council says some historically-important residential areas and more historic places could receive additional protection from the Christchurch District Plan if a proposed plan change gets approved.
These are neighbourhoods with buildings and features which, collectively rather than individually, are significant to Christchurch’s heritage and identity, and are worthy of retaining, it said.
Within the RHAs, the Council is proposing to have less provision for housing intensification than in other residential areas of the city.
“In most residential areas of the city we need to enable the government’s new direction to increase housing and business choice. Under this new direction people will be able to build up to three houses per section, and up to three stories high, without a resource consent,” says the Council’s Head of Planning and Consents, John Higgins.
“However, we think there are ‘Qualifying Matters’ which mean different provisions should be applied in those areas that we have identified as RHAs. Scheduled buildings and their settings are also ‘Qualifying Matters’.
“While we need to provide more housing for the city’s growing population, we also need to protect the special heritage buildings and areas that make Christchurch unique. ‘’
The proposed RHAs are in Inner City West, Chester St East (inner city), Englefield (inner city east), Piko/Shand Sts (Riccarton), Heaton St (Merivale), Gosset/Carrington/Jacobs Sts (St Albans), Wayside Ave (Burnside), Wigram, MacMillan Ave (Cashmere), Shelley/Forbes Sts (Sydenham) and Lyttelton Township.
In the RHAs, resource consents would be required for all new buildings and for all additions or alterations to existing structures. A resource consent would also be required before any structure could be demolished.
Before a resource consent could be granted, the Council would have to assess how the project would impact on the heritage values of the area.
“We are making changes to our District Plan to make it easier for the city to grow and for new types of housing to be built, but we don’t want that to be at the cost of the heritage buildings, items and areas that have survived the earthquakes,” Mr Higgins said.
Christchurch City Council is seeking to add around 65 new buildings, items and interiors to the Schedule of Significant Historic Heritage in the District Plan for protection.
The new listings include five buildings near the city centre, some private buildings, halls and cemeteries that the Council owns, and 25 baches at Taylors Mistake.