Natural hazards  |  3 Apr 2019

Christchurch City Council is considering using a fast-tracked process to change the District Plan to reflect new information about the slope instability risk in some parts of the Port Hills.

After the earthquakes, slope instability modelling was done in the Port Hills to identify which properties were affected by, or potentially at risk from, rockfall, cliff collapse or mass movement.

The Port Hills.

The slope instability on parts of the Port Hills has been reassessed.

As a result of that modelling, mapped hazard areas, called slope instability overlays, were included within the District Plan.

In the slope instability overlays, most development requires resource consent.

However, hazard removal works done over the past few years, coupled with new technical information, means there is now a different or lower risk in some parts of the slope stability overlays.

Despite the changed risk profile in those areas, all properties within the overlays remain subject to the original rules, which is imposing unnecessary restrictions and costs on landowners.

Today, the Council’s Regulatory Performance Committee voted to recommend the Council ask the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration to use Section 71 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act (GCRA) to update the slope instability overlays in the District Plan to reflect the changed risk profile.

A report considered by the Committee said that without an amendment to the slope instability overlays, affected property owners would continue to have unnecessary restrictions, costs and uncertainty imposed on them.

“This may result in property owners being unable to carry out activities on their properties, may hinder property sales and may be affecting property values,’’ the report said.

Changes are only being proposed for properties already known to the Council to have lesser risk. This is to ensure that the changes can be made quickly for affected landowners.

Lyttelton parking

The Committee also voted to recommend the Council ask the Minister to use Section 71 of the GCRA to change the District Plan provisions relating to on-site parking requirements in the Lyttelton town centre.

The current requirements are inhibiting the development of several sites along London Street and therefore the wider regeneration of the Lyttelton town centre.

The Council will consider the Committee's recommendations when it meets next week.