The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (the Recovery
Plan) recognises that the existing Living Zones in the
Central City result in an unnecessarily complex planning
To help facilitate the recovery and regeneration of the central
city, CERA has developed a draft residential chapter for the
Recovery Plan called A Liveable City. This chapter
presents a vision and objectives for central city living, along
with a revised planning framework for central city Living Zones and
several proposed initiatives to stimulate the development of
housing and communities.
Areas for Development
The chapter provides for three areas for residential
developments in the central city;
Traditional central city living;
Mixed use opportunity; and
New East Frame neighbourhood of 1,500 to 2,000 people.
Development Standards and amendments to the District Plan
The residential chapter of the Recovery Plan will require
significant amendments to District Plan.
The key amendment is the introduction of a new Central City
Living Zone and consequential amendments to existing provisions
including the removal of Living 4A, B and C Zones as they relate to
the Central City.
New Central City Living Zone
The primary objective of the new Central City Living Zone is to
The need for flexibility in the way that a range of housing
types can be designed and built in the inner city; with
The need to ensure the outcome (specifically the amenity) of
such developments is sufficiently certain for current residents and
to ensure that potential residents feel confident about moving into
The Central City Living Zone ensures that certain 'bottom
lines' (development standards) for new developments are met.
The development standards fall into two packages:
Measures to provide amenity for owners and occupiers of the
dwelling such as:
Minimum unit sizes
Location and size of outdoor living space
Additional acoustic insulation in some locations
Measures to manage the interface with neighbours and the public
realm such as:
Maximum height restrictions
Setbacks and recession planes
Fences and landscaping
Proposed development that complies with the prescribed
development standards will be permitted activities and as such will
not require resource consent.
Benefits and costs of minimum standards
The Recovery Plan considers the benefits to central city
development as including:
Allowing residential developments to progress more quickly,
potentially increasing the availability of residential properties
in the central city, as well as reducing overall costs for
Providing certainty for investors, developers, designers and
home owners with a clear assurance of minimum standards of amenity,
but without constraining flexibility to provide housing that varies
in design, pricing and quality above this minimum standard.
As part of the initiatives to stimulate the development of
housing, the chapter also provides for a Christchurch City Council
funded rebate for residential development:
If developments are adding at least one more residential unit
to what previously existed on the site and meet good design
requirements, they may be eligible for a full rebate of the
The fund is capped at $10 million.
There is an opportunity for the public to provide comments on
the draft amendments. The deadline for public comment is 13 August
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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