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Urban Development in Greater Christchurch

August 24, 2008



Urban Development in Greater Christchurch – Growth Variations Proposed.

Proposed variations to Greater Christchurch’s future growth areas have been notified by Environment Canterbury (ECan) and the process will now be open to public consultation.   

Variation Nos. 1-4 to Proposed Change No. 1 (Development of Greater Christchurch) to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) proposes the expansion of the urban limits for Kaiapoi, Woodend and Rolleston and the inclusion of the Revised Air Noise Contour for Christchurch International Airport.

“Proposed Change No. 1 to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) establishes a policy framework for the development of new residential and business land, linked to infrastructure provision, in Greater Christchurch through to 2041,” says ECan chair Sir Kerry Burke.

“At the time of notification of Proposed Change No. 1 to the RPS in July 2007, the urban growth areas for Rolleston, Kaiapoi and Woodend had not been finalised. These variations address those issues and define the associated Greenfield development plan areas where future urban development is to occur,” says Sir Kerry.

Under Proposed Change No.1, the number of households in the Selwyn District is anticipated to grow by 11,890, with the Variation allocating Greenfields development of approximately 5,500 households to Rolleston between 2006 and 2041. Households in the Waimakariri District are anticipated to grow by 9,800, with an allocation of Greenfields development of approximately 2300 households for Kaiapoi and 990 households to Woodend.  

ECan considered a range of environmental and infrastructure issues when proposing these urban limits. These include access and transport issues, the impact of the revised noise contour for Christchurch International Airport, storm water and sewage treatment and a wider transportation framework for the link between the towns and Christchurch and the wider region. There is also the issue of flooding from the Ashley River that could impact on Kaiapoi. 

Variation No. 4 inserts the revised 50 decibel air noise contour into Proposed Change No. 1. The revised contour is the result of an updated modelling exercise for the airport agreed to by a panel of noise experts at the end of 2007. The revised contour covers a wider geographical area and has brought changes to the Greenfield Outline Development Plan Areas notified in Proposed Change No.1 last year.

“Noise contours are already incorporated into the district plans for Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District Councils, however they were produced as a result of modelling undertaken in 1994 and do not reflect recent growth assumptions in aircraft traffic and noise volumes. The remodelled air contours take these factors into account alongside the expanding urban limits”, says Sir Kerry.

The revised air noise contour lies across areas in the north and west of Christchurch City originally proposed to support approximately 2000 new households. These are located in West Belfast, Upper Styx, Russley and South of Masham. As a result, the Variation allocates future residential development to existing growth areas in the north of Belfast and South-West Christchurch, including the fringe of Henderson’s Basin above the 19m contour.

These areas are able to be serviced by public transport and infrastructure and community, recreational and commercial facilities that are already planned for growth areas in the South-West.          

“Each of the areas covered by the Variations has their own unique characteristics and dynamics and these are being taken into consideration when planning for urban growth.  Some areas, such as the South-West of Christchurch City fit better with planned improvement to infrastructure and facilities than other areas,” says Sir Kerry Burke.

“Planning for future residential development must also consider the reticulation of drinking water and sewage and the possibility of flooding, should the area be located near a river or waterway or on low lying ground.  The selected areas under the Variation must also be able to meet the sustainable management objective of the Resource Management Act 1991.”

ECan will deliver information on the proposed changes to approximately 20,000 households in Rolleston, Kaiapoi, Woodend and western Christchurch this week. A series of public information briefings are also planned and the details on these briefings are as follows:

Details of where you can see or obtain a copy of Variations 1 – 4 can be found at: http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Plans+and+Reports/RegionalPolicyStatement/rpsProposedChange1.htm





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