Population growth, housing issues and climate change have prompted a re-think of planning rules, Christchurch City Council Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale has announced.
“Christchurch is going from strength to strength as a city and our population is growing as more people discover the benefits of living and working here,” the CEO said.
“We are New Zealand’s second largest city and one of fastest growing regions in the country.
“Growth like we’re experiencing brings opportunities and challenges. People need places to live, places to play and easy ways to get around. We need to provide all of these things while still safeguarding the environment and values that make Christchurch such a special place to live.”
Ms Baxendale said Christchurch City Council was proposing changes to the District Plan to accommodate for continued growth and prosperity
“These District Plan changes will affect how our city grows sustainably, how we move around, the type of housing we live in, and how we adapt and respond to climate change and coastal hazards,” she said.
“We need to make sure that we are able to provide the transport infrastructure, services and housing to cater for that growth in a sustainable way. And we need to respect mana whenua values and protect the things that make us unique so people continue to want to live here and thrive here.”
She said some of the proposed changes to planning rules were being driven by the Government, at a national level.
“There are important conversations being led by the Government about how to ensure our towns and cities develop in a way that will meet the changing needs of our diverse communities, while addressing the issues we’re facing, such as climate change and housing affordability.”
“This is all having an impact on what we do at a local and regional level as we have to follow the direction set by the Government.
“For example, many of you will already be aware that the Government has prioritised the need for more housing to accommodate our growing population and wants to see this happen by allowing our cities to grow upwards rather than outwards. It has mandated this through the National Policy Statement – Urban Development (NPS-UD) and through the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply) Amendment Act.
“While we will be following the Government’s direction to enable more housing, we will also be working to identify and protect areas of the city that we believe are not suitable for intensive housing development.
“Our challenge is to make sure that we grow in such a way that protects our precious, productive land; our environment, our lifestyle and the things we value. We are going to have to look at the way we travel, where and how we live, and how we use available land.”