The Christchurch City Council released the first stage of the proposed changes to the Christchurch District Plan on 27 August 2014, and submissions are currently open on these proposals. Submissions close on 8 October 2014, and this is the only opportunity to have your say on the proposed changes.

This initial proposal is the first of a two part review of the Plan; the second part is expected in mid-2015. This stage will change rules and policies affecting industrial, commercial, subdivision, and residential use. These changes will be concentrated to those areas identified in the Land Use Recovery Plan. As a general rule the proposals cover the entire city, excluding the central city. There are some other exceptions. The 'natural hazards' chapter will also have consequences for anyone living in areas threatened by slope instability (namely the Port Hills), flooding or liquefaction.

Some of the proposed changes:

  • Greater density housing will be permitted in some residential areas, as well as some non-residential activities being allowed.
  • Consenting and notification requirements will be considerably eased for within areas targeted for development.
Subdivision and Development
  • Changes to provide for more residential sites in target development areas.
  • More housing options within new subdivision developments.
  • Density of commercial areas will increase.
  • Existing commercial zones will be replaced with new ones: commercial core, fringe, local, Banks Peninsula or retail park.
Natural Hazards
  • Changing the planning maps so they identify hazard-prone areas.
  • Require raised floor levels to mitigate the effects of flooding in flood prone areas.
  • Geotechnical assessment required to permit subdivision on sites susceptible to liquefaction.
  • Avoiding use of areas in the Port Hills subject to intolerable risk to life from cliff collapse, rockfall, mass movement or boulder roll.
  • Encouraging public and active (biking or walking) transport.
  • Fewer controls on car parking in some areas, and more control in others.
  • Some land in Hornby and North Belfast will be zoned industrial.
  • Keep all industrial work together to decrease impact on neighbours.
Contaminated Land
  • Inclusion of objectives and policies relating to contaminated land to align the District Plan with National Standards.
  • Duty of the person undertaking activities to identify whether land is contaminated. If it is, this information will be included on the LIM.

Your Response

Submissions can be made to the Council on the proposed changes until Wednesday 8 October 2014. This is the only opportunity that the public has to comment on the proposed changes.

Submissions will be heard by an independent hearings panel appointed by the Ministers for the Environment and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery. Any appeal from this hearing goes to the High Court and can only be on a point of law

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.