Consultation on intensification in the garden city underway

Christchurch City Council has released a suite of consultation documents on intensification of residential and commercial properties under the Draft Housing and Business Choice Plan Change. The proposed plan change would see residential construction of 32 metres (10 storeys) within a 10 minute walk (800 m) of the central city and 20m (six storeys) within a 15 minute walk (1.2 km). Most other suburbs will have the proposed 12m or 14m height limits. The proposal would also have unlimited height within the City Centre Zone.

The Council propose to introduce new qualifying matters such as character areas, schedule of significant trees, residential heritage areas vacuum sewer wastewater system constraints and coastal hazards areas.

The Council are also proposing to introduce Financial Contributions. Financial Contributions are a fee that can now be charged to anyone looking to develop land, even if a resource consent is not required. Councils can use the fees to fund additional infrastructure.

Christchurch City Council’s Financial Contributions proposal is that anyone wishing to develop land and does not retain or plan 20 per cent tree canopy cover on a site will be charged a Financial Contribution which will be used by the Council to plant trees on Council-owned land. They are also investigating introducing fees in vacant greenfield areas if density targets are not achieved and also from Crown development.

The majority of the proposed height changes are in response to the recent Resource Management Housing Supply Act and National Policy Statement on Urban Development which directs local authorities to set minimum height standards of up to three dwellings of up to three storeys in tier 1 urban areas and a minimum of 6 storeys within tier 1 central areas. It is important to note that there are a number of qualifying matters (such as; national importance, nationally significant infrastructure, heritage and public open space) which mean rules enabling increased development will not apply, or the level of density is restricted and subject to resource consent approval.

Submissions close 13 May 2022. Please contact Katherine Wilson to review Property Council’s submission or provide us with your feedback.

Author | Katherine Wilson

As Property Council’s Head of Advocacy, Katherine is tasked with leading our advocacy campaigns at both a regional and national level.

Level-headed and engaging, Katherine has both a law degree from Otago University and an arts degree (majoring in politics) from Auckland University. With solid experience as a policy analyst and advisor in Wellington and Auckland, she has extensive networks and solid analytical skills.

Katherine is hugely dedicated, highly intelligent and committed to ensuring the voice of our members is heard at all levels of governance. She’s also relentlessly positive and enjoys a good chat.

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