Supporting business  |  15 Jul 2019

One of the barriers to the development of Lyttelton’s town centre may soon be removed.

Christchurch City Council is hoping to lift a requirement that local businesses in the port town must provide a certain number of car parking spaces.

Christchurch City Council hopes to address a barrier to development in Lyttelton

Christchurch City Council hopes to address a barrier to development in Lyttelton.

It is seeking feedback from strategic partners Environment Canterbury, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on a draft proposal, under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act, to amend the Christchurch District Plan.

The proposal will also be sent to central government. 

The amendment would remove a restriction in the plan around the number of car parking spaces that commercial businesses in the port town must provide in order to operate.

Its removal is seen as urgent as several planned developments are affected and will require resource consent under the current rules.

Council Head of Planning and Strategic Transport David Griffiths says the proposal would remove district plan requirements that are neither appropriate nor practical in Lyttelton.

“The car parking requirements are causing issues for several potential developments,’’ Mr Griffiths says. “It means development plans cannot meet the permitted activity parking requirements.

“Landowners have, at various stages, raised the issue and the related length and cost of resource consent processes as an impediment to development in the centre. The regeneration of Lyttelton has been affected, with developers slow to invest and several sites still vacant. “

He says removing the restriction will effectively return the Lyttelton situation to its pre-earthquake state, where most commercial sites did not provide parking.

“Lyttelton is clearly unique because of its topography, specific regeneration needs and the size and dimensions of the sites for development and we see real merit in this restriction being removed.”

Councillors have agreed that, following feedback from strategic partners and depending on that feedback, staff should prepare a final proposal to be submitted to Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Wood.