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Our Environment: Issue 19 Winter 1999

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Plan Zones 1150ha For City's Growth

Another 1150 hectares for growth on the urban fringes and a clampdown on infill redevelopment in existing residential areas are among changes outlined in the Proposed City Plan.

The Plan, amended by Council decisions, was released publicly on May 8 and specific decisions were sent to submitters on 10 May and 31 May. Submitters had 15 working days from the receipt of decisions to lodge a reference (appeal) with the Environment Court.

About 500ha of new residential land was identified in the Proposed Plan notified in June 1995. A further 650ha has been added following hearings on submissions to the Plan.

The largest area earmarked for urban expansion - 350ha in and around Halswell - has already been identified as a preferred area for major urban expansion. Other large parcels of land which have been rezoned for residential use are 100ha along Johns Road and the Main North Road, 80ha in Mairehau, 53ha at Burwood Hospital and 80ha along Yaldhurst and Buchanan Roads. Several other smaller areas around the edge of the City have also been given the go-ahead for housing.

At the same time 29ha at Bottle Lake Forest and 10ha of Scarborough land are now off limits for development after being removed from Living zoning. Decisions on the development of

Montgomery Spur and Cashmere Valley have been deferred after an Environment Court declaration that submissions seeking the rezoning of land on Montgomery Spur were not adequately summarised.

Density changes in Living 1 and Living 2 zones will significantly limit opportunities to slice off and develop rear sections. The critical standard for section sizes in Living 1 zones - the typical suburban housing environment - has been increased from 360m2 to 420m2.

In Living 2 zones (slightly more dense and mainly in the older, inner suburbs) minimum section sizes have been increased from 270m2 to 300m2. Higher density Living 3 zones, mostly found in the central City, have been introduced to new subdivisions in Halswell and Belfast to provide a wider choice of housing.

Changes to recession planes and open space standards have also been made to improve the amenity of suburban housing areas. Any proposal to build a garage in a front yard in low density living zones will now require a resource consent (as a limited discretionary activity). Some specific building height restrictions have also been imposed. For example the permitted height of buildings in the block in Park Terrace, bounded by Salisbury, Peterborough and Montreal Streets, is reduced to 14m and the permitted height of buildings in the Living 3 zone in Sumner is reduced to 9.5m.

For the first time the Council officially accepts the presence of most Taylors Mistake baches, recognising them as part of the City's social and cultural history. They are now a permitted activity in the new Living Taylors Mistake Bach zone. However no alterations to existing buildings, other than maintenance, or any new buildings are allowed in the zone. New rules state that planting of exotic species is a non- complying activity in Conservation zones in the Port Hills and east of Dyers Pass Road because of the area's outstanding natural character. Any rural building above 160m is also a non-complying activity.

Sets of replacement pages for the Proposed City Plan are available from service centres and the Environmental Services Unit counter at the Civic offices at a cost of $100.00 including GST. Small quantities of complete boxed sets of the Plan are also available for $150.00 including GST.

All enquiries regarding Council decisions and appeals (references) to the Environment Court should be directed to the City Plan Team tel: (03) 941 8888.

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