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Local authorities join forces to plan long-term for Christchurch

16 December 2004

Whether you live by the beach, in the country or smack in the middle of town, you are going to be asked in the next few months how you think Christchurch  should deal with its growing population.

As the population grows, so residential areas spread beyond the traditional city limits – making urban growth a rural dilemma also.

Some issues to be considered are Christchurch’s unique features that can help and hinder planning. For example, some of the city’s natural  springs are nearest the surface in the Halswell area, where there is the biggest push for residential spread. Do the possibilities of allowing more building in this area pose a risk to our water supplies or flooding?

Christchurch has one of the country’s most rapidly ageing populations. Will these older home-owners want to sell up in the subdivisions and shift closer to the central city to be near essential services or will they want to retire to the country?

As part of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy, the Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, Banks Peninsula District Council, Canterbury Regional Council, Transit New Zealand and Christchurch City Council have joined forces to make long-term plans for the future of Christchurch.

To do this they want to know what Christchurch and surrounding residents want of their city when dealing with problems and opportunities that come with a growing population. The parties can then consider the most likely options for adoption across all authorities.

Do we want, for example:

  • a planned city or freedom to spread where the market dictates;
  • a more intense built-up city that allows higher densities or more new suburbs;
  • to leave the city as it is but encourage  more development in surrounding towns, or
  • a greater mix of land uses in residential areas or more restrictive zoning that stops growth in central Christchurch in favour of growing such satellite towns as Rolleston, Rangiora and Woodend?

Over the next few months, Greater Christchurch UDS will provide Christchurch residents from all over Canterbury with opportunities  to have their say on how they think the city should manage its population growth. Make sure you take part so that you can help plan a greater Christchurch for you, your children, grandchildren and future generations.

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