|Our Environment: Issue 21 Summer 1999|
Clean water and air main environmental concerns in survey
Long-term supply of clean drinking water is the key environmental concern of Christchurch residents, according to this year's annual survey of residents commissioned by the City Council.
Air quality was the second main issue followed by sewage, traffic and the loss of natural areas and habitats.
Several of these concerns were also highlighted in a recent Canterbury Dialogues survey, which identified air quality and transportation as the main issues affecting quality of life in the region. Issues associated with water also rated relatively highly.
In the latest survey of residents conducted in March and April, most respondents (57 per cent) supported the City and Regional Council's policy to phase out the use of open fires in City homes. Twenty nine per cent opposed the policy. The main reason for opposition was the expensive price of electricity and the perception that other sources contribute to the pollution problem in the City.
Just over half (56 per cent) of respondents believed that the grant Council makes available to householders wishing to install some alternative heating was about right. Thirty six per cent suggested that it was too low or much too low. Only 5 per cent considered the grant was too high.
General attitude to living in Christchurch
Overall, residents continue to be satisfied with Christchurch as a place to live, work and spend spare time. Ninety three per cent of survey respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the City and only 2 per cent indicated any level of dissatisfaction.
The survey asked whether respondents support various options to find space for the 30,000 extra people expected to be living in the City by 2016. There was strong support for both encouraging growth in existing neighbouring towns and outward expansion. Respondents were fairly equally divided in relation to the options for further development within the existing city boundaries.
Of those who supported the option for growth within the Christchurch, most (57 per cent) preferred this to be evenly spread across the City, while 26 per cent wanted growth concentrated in the City Centre.
Fifty four per cent of respondents were aware of new residential building, alterations, extensions or developments in their local area during the past 12 months. Of this group, 50 per cent felt the changes had made their area better or much better compared with 15 per cent who thought changes had made their area worse or much worse. A growing proportion of respondents (35 per cent) indicated that the changes had made no difference
The majority of those who were aware of local developments approved of what had been built (79 per cent) although 17 per cent felt there were examples of developments in their area that should not have been allowed. Their criticisms related to the following; badly designed development, design not appropriate to area, specific developments, small section sizes, building height, proximity to boundary, housing density, loss of gardens/trees, inappropriate infill housing, lack of consultation with neighbours (re building), subdivision on hillsides, removal of character homes.
Most respondents (56 per cent) thought that new developments throughout the City during the last year had made Christchurch a better or much better place to live. Only 10 per cent believed new developments had made living in the City worse or much worse.
The level of approval declined in 1999, however this has been partially offset by an increase in those who believe that new development has made no difference to the City.
(email@example.com) Corinne Macintyre
|Our Environment Index|