Feedback shows strong support for restoration and recreation
Feedback shows strong support for ecological
restoration and recreation
19 December 2017
For immediate release
Regenerate Christchurch today published all feedback on possible land uses for the 602-hectare Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor regeneration area.
From October 6 to November 6, 1,866 people and
groups gave feedback on 10 possible combinations of land
uses for the regeneration area, which is almost four times
the size of Hagley Park and includes the
residential red zone.
The most common feedback
themes were ecological restoration, residential development
(including the proposed golf course land swap), recreation
(including flatwater and whitewater facilities), visitor
and productive land uses, says Chief Executive Ivan Iafeta.
“The recent engagement was an
opportunity for people to look at the work we’ve done and
tell us what they thought of the possible land uses and the
information considered, and let us know if they thought
missed anything,” explains Ivan Iafeta.
Ecological restoration received the most comments and support, with 906 responses.
“Almost half of the
people and groups giving feedback saw ecological restoration
as a priority and often supported recreation, visitor
attractions and productive uses, as long as they had an
ecological focus,” says
Horseshoe Lake and Bexley were specifically mentioned as having high ecological importance.
More than 300 people and groups
voiced specific support for an open space corridor, or
“Green Spine” along the river. All combinations featured
this corridor of up to 150 metres on either side of the
Ōtākaro Avon River
from Barbadoes Street to Bexley. This space could potentially include permanent paths, trails, gardens, forest, wetlands and community initiatives as well as significant areas of ecological restoration.
There was support for flatwater facilities, with 688 people favouring the 2.2km out-of-river lake and 442 supporting the 2.2km in-river lake option, primarily for ecological reasons.
Cycling and walking trails were the next-most common recreation themes, as well as support for a whitewater facility.
Ecologically and locally-focused visitor attractions received good support, but feedback on large-scale ticketed attractions was more divided.
685 people and groups who mentioned residential development,
342 were supportive and 343 unsupportive. Most supportive
comments were conditional, saying any future housing must be
sustainable, adaptable to climate change and limited in size and number.
“The idea of more housing in or around this area or any form of development raises many questions, including some important ecological ones and questions around how we adapt to climate change,” says Ivan Iafeta.
Of the 463 responses to the idea of the proposed golf course land swap, 416 were opposed.
feedback supported productive land uses, but with conditions
such as having an ecological focus, while there were
concerns about farming (particularly dairy) and private or
commercial ownership of the land.
After considering all feedback, the next step is to refine the options into a shortlist, assessing them against the vision, objectives, and land use criteria.
The shortlisted options could be drawn from the 10 combinations, or be a mix-and-match of the 10 possible combinations of land uses that were published in October.
At a major exhibition of options early next year, people will be able to look at the cost and benefits of each shortlisted option, and the likely timeframes.
“Our goal is to determine how the regeneration area can make the biggest contribution to Christchurch and New Zealand’s future.”
Following the exhibition early next year,
Regenerate Christchurch will prepare a preliminary draft
Regeneration Plan by mid-2018, which will include a
preferred land use plan for the area. The next step is
seek public feedback on a draft Plan that will confirm responsibilities for funding, delivery and governance, which is expected to be finalised by late-2018.
“We are approaching decisions that will shape the future of our city for hundreds of years and influence how people experience life in Christchurch for generations to come.
“We are grateful for the effort people made to express their views and we are excited about the exhibition coming up next year,” says Ivan Iafeta.