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Environment Court’s decision on North West Belfast zone

14 March, 2012

Environment Court’s decision on North West Belfast zone

More than 1300 new houses can be developed in North West Belfast following an Environment Court decision.

The decision on the North West Belfast zone is a milestone that will allow for the timely release of land onto the market as demand increases following the earthquakes. It will also bring Christchurch City Council a step closer to meeting the objectives of the City Plan.

Mayor Bob Parker says this decision will open up the opportunity for development for up to 1300 houses.

“This is a big step forward for the city and will result in the release of land for housing. There is huge demand in the city now for new sections and I am pleased with the Environment Court’s decision.

“Council staff have put in a big effort, over a long period of time to get to this point and I congratulate them for their efforts.

Chairperson of the Regulatory and Planning Committee Councillor Sue Wells says, “It has been a very long process. I'm very pleased it has finally reached a successful conclusion, especially at a time when we need these sections coming on stream."

“The Council recognises the demand for new sections in the city and we are working hard to meet the needs of our residents,” she says.

The key elements of the decision of the Environment Court are:

• A minimum of 1300 residential units with a mix of densities (equivalent of Living 1 through to Living 3).
• Two mixed use commercial areas – one of which has a retail area that will service the growth area.
• A new stormwater and greenspace network.
• Urban design for the highest density area and the main commercial area will be a restricted discretionary activity in keeping with the Council's recent focus on achieving good urban design outcomes.
• The mixed use area adjacent to Johns Road is deferred for the start of the construction of the Western Belfast Bypass.

The decision paves the way for landowners to begin the process of subdividing their land to permit residential development to occur.

The decision of the Environment Court can still be appealed to the High Court. The appeal period will close on the 29 March. Appeals can be on points of law only.


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