Redcliffs School decision welcomed
Regenerate Christchurch welcomes the decision by the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration to approve its proposal that Section 71 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act be used to implement changes to the Christchurch District Plan. The decision enables Redcliffs School to be re-located to Redcliffs Park and the original school site converted to a park.
It is the first time that Section 71 has been utilised, and Regenerate Christchurch is looking for more opportunities to use the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act to support regeneration.
Regenerate Christchurch Chief Executive Ivan Iafeta says schools are core elements of communities.
“Regeneration is about strengthening communities. This is achieved in different ways. In Redcliffs, we saw an opportunity to use the legislation to support the community’s commitment to having a school in its area again. A request by the Ministry of Education for a land swap was accepted by the Christchurch City Council after public consultation found nearly 80 percent of those who made submissions supported the proposal.”
Due to rock falls caused by the 2011 earthquake, the school has been operating at a temporary location more than four kilometres from its original site. In March 2015, the government proposed the closure of the school. In June 2016, it agreed to return Redcliffs School to the area on the condition it be established on a different site.
Section 71 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act can be used to make changes to the Christchurch District Plan and other planning documents in order to speed up planning processes. In late January this year, Regenerate Christchurch recommended using the legislation to enable the school to be relocated to Redcliffs Park and the original site converted to a park.
“Prior to making our recommendation to the Minister in January, we sought a range of technical advice, which highlighted to us the complexities of the natural environment in Redcliffs due to its coastal location,” Mr Iafeta says.
“We concluded that, on balance, the proposed location would be appropriate, given the Ministry of Education’s expectation that the new buildings would be in use for about 50 years, and the facilities would be designed to ensure Redcliffs Park was a genuine long-term location for the school.”