District Plan  |  5 Oct 2023

Hearings get under way next week for Christchurch City Council’s proposed District Plan Change 14.

An Independent Hearings Panel will hear from submitters on the Council’s Housing and Business Choice Plan Change (Plan Change 14), which was publicly notified for submissions between 17 March and 12 May this year.

The plan change has been designed to bring the city’s District Plan in line with the Government’s new national direction to encourage multi-unit housing developments – called the Medium-Density Residential Standards (MDRS) – and to allow greater intensification in and around the central city and suburban centres.

The public hearings are scheduled to run from next Tuesday until February 2024.

Council Head of Planning and Consents John Higgins says the Independent Hearings Panel will consider submissions and the Council’s recommendations before forming its own recommendations for a decision by the Council on the plan change next year.

“Planners have considered all of the nearly 1,000 submissions and prepared reports under section 42A of the Resource Management Act with recommendations for the Independent Hearings Panel on whether to accept, accept in part, or reject submissions.

“After hearing from submitters, the panel may then make recommendations that are different from what was originally publicly notified for Plan Change 14 and also different from what Council planners have recommended in the section 42A reports.”

“If councillors don’t agree with the panel’s recommendations, then the Minister for the Environment becomes the decision-maker on the plan change,” adds Mr Higgins.

Plan Change 14 is expected to become operative by September 2024. Further information about the hearings schedule is available on the Independent Hearings Panel’s website.