17 May 2024

Christchurch City Council has filed its closing submissions on its proposed Housing and Business Choice Plan Change (Plan Change 14).

The Council today submitted its “right of reply” document to the Independent Hearings Panel, providing an overview of matters raised during the public hearings and the Council’s final position on them, before the panel makes its recommendations later this year.

Read the Council’s right of reply.

Head of Planning and Consents Mark Stevenson says the Council is grateful for the collective efforts of the hearings panel and submitters.

“The panel has carried out a high-quality hearing and a great deal of work has gone into evaluating the many submissions and significant evidence before it.

“Similarly, submitters have made huge contributions through the information they’ve fed into the process, resulting in a number of changes.

“In both instances, we’re very grateful for the significant time and resources invested in the process to date for the city’s Housing and Business Choice Plan Change.”

Mr Stevenson says proposed changes to Plan Change 14 have been made in response to submissions, discussions with submitters and conferencing between experts.

Following the filing of the Council’s right of reply today, the Independent Hearings Panel will now prepare its recommendations on the plan change, which the Council expects to receive by 26 July.

In September, the Council will make decisions on the panel’s recommendations on greater heights and densities in and around the central city and suburban centres. It will also decide on the recommendations related to re-zoning land in Sydenham to mixed-use and financial contributions for tree-canopy cover across all relevant zones.

The Council has until September 2025 to decide on the panel’s recommendations that relate to implementing Medium-Density Residential Standards beyond the central city and suburban centres.

Key proposed changes to Plan Change 14 since it was notified:

  • Additional requirements for intensification on the Port Hills due to the risk of run-off of soils, with associated effects on waterways. This includes (1) a requirement for an erosion and sediment control plan to be prepared and approved prior to works beginning for residential development with a greater density than the operative plan, and (2) a limit on impervious surfaces (45 per cent).
  • North Halswell High Density Zone has been reduced in area around the proposed new commercial centre at North Halswell.
  • The Riccarton, Papanui and Hornby commercial centres’ permitted heights have changed from 22 to 32 metres.
  • The Mixed Use Zone has been extended to include the Phillipstown industrial area.
  • The Low Public Transport Area Qualifying Matter restricts intensification over and above the status quo in areas that are not within a walkable distance of a frequent public transport service. The area affected by this qualifying matter has been reduced.
  • Residential Suburban zoning has been retained within a 240-metre-wide area adjacent to Ravensdown, in Hornby. This is instead of enabling medium-density zoning.
  • The Tsunami Risk Management Area Qualifying Matter has been reduced in area in some peripheral locations where the life-safety risk is less, and medium-density enablement has increased.
  • Residential areas adjacent to industrial areas are more enabling for medium density, subject to controls.