29 Mar 2017

Plan to rezone Chch land criticised

8:54 am on 29 March 2017

A plan to rezone 125 hectares of low-lying land in Christchurch faces opposition, with critics saying enough land is already available for housing in the city.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said it was a perfect area to build homes. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

The council believes some of the land around the Cranford Basin is suitable for building homes on, and is about to start public consultation.

At a meeting last week, the city council voted to go ahead with public consultation on the Cranford Regeneration plan.

Three councillors, including council housing policy expert Glenn Livingstone, voted against the plan progressing.

Mr Livingstone said there was plenty of land to build on already.

"We have plenty of shovel-ready land", he said. "Why do we really need to zone, or through this plan have more land zoned for residential?"

Lawyer and Christchurch Central Labour party candidate Duncan Webb said because there was no shortage of land, he questioned whether the plan would fall under the emergency powers the council has under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act.

"Under the Regeneration Act this can be done with the sweep of a pen ... yes, there is public consultation, but there is no appeal process," he said.

The organisation tasked with Christchurch's regeneration, Otakaro Limited, has sent a letter to the council outlining concerns about the project.

In the letter, Otakaro chief executive Albert Brently said the development would take interest away from its taxpayer funded inner city housing project, the Eastern Frame, which would bring around 900 new homes into the central city.

However, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said this would not be an issue, as the Eastern Frame project offered a different product.

"It is not a development along the lines of a high density housing proposal like the Eastern Frame, these are a small and medium density properties", she said.

She said it was a perfect area to build homes.

"It's an area that has got access to cycleways, good bus routes, it's also close to a key activity centre, Papanui, lots of schools in the area, so you know it's got everything going for it in terms of the development but at the moment it can't be developed."

Ngāi Tahu were also raising concerns, and have sent a letter to the council about stormwater discharges into Horseshoe Lake.

Public consultation on the plan begins on Thursday.

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