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District Plan Review - finding the balance

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Tuesday 20 August 2013

District Plan Review - finding the balance

The Christchurch City Council is asking the people of Christchurch to take part in the district plan review and wants them to weigh up the issues to help them find the right balance for future land use.

The District Plan Review, which incorporates the current Christchurch City Plan and the Banks Peninsula District Plan, affects everyone in the community as it is the rulebook for all types of land use. These include residential and business zoning, transport, natural hazards, future development areas and heritage.

The Council is asking the community to join the District Plan Review online conversation at www.futurechristchurch.co.nz - from Wednesday 21 August - and tell them what you think about the future use of our land.

Ideas and suggestions made by Christchurch residents in this online conversation will be shared with the planners as they review the current plans, before the initial chapters are drafted and prepared for formal consultation. The formal consultation is scheduled for November 2013.

Council's General Manager Strategy & Planning Mike Theelen says the online conversation is a great way for the planners to get a sense of the community's views on key issues in the district plan.

"Because we need to get the recovery aspects of the plan drafted this year, we need to move quickly and look at different says of engaging with the community.

"By opening up the dialogue with community now we can test the water on aspects of the plan, that could have an effect on them, before the initial chapters are drafted," he says.

The initial set of chapters - those relating to earthquake recovery - are due to be notified in late November 2013 and completed by 30 June 2014. The review of the remaining chapters - the non-recovery ones - must be completed by the end of the next Council term in 2016.

The Council is distributing a 'Finding the Balance' booklet to Christchurch homes later this week which explains the review project and how people can get involved. The Council is encouraging the people of Christchurch to get involved by: * Joining the online conversation at www.futurechristchurch.co.nz from Wednesday 21 August * Finding out more at www.ccc.govt.nz/districtplanreview * Attending a community drop-in session from 28 August * Joining the pop-up conversations at malls around the city from Thursday 29 August.

* Attending presentations with stakeholders and the community from Thursday 22 August

District Plan Review background:

District plans set out the provisions governing the use of land within in the district including residential and business zoning, transport, natural hazards, future development areas and heritage.

The Resource Management Act 1991 requires councils to review provisions in their district plans every ten years. The Christchurch City Council had the process of reviewing the current Christchurch City Plan and the Banks Peninsula District Plan underway prior to the earthquakes, but this was then put on hold after February 2011.

In April this year the Council resolved to go ahead with a full review of the two plans, to address immediate and long-term planning needs.

This followed the release of the draft Land Use Recovery Plan prepared by Environment Canterbury on behalf of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

The post-earthquake environment means the Council needs to focus on streamlining the plan, simplifying its provisions and making it easy to use. Creating a plan that allows regular review also enables the Council to more flexibly respond to changing community, legislative, or market priorities in the future.

The new district plan is scheduled to be completed in 2016 before the end of the next Council term.

ENDS

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