Mayor Lianne Dalziel has taken steps to ensure that the protections included in the proposed Housing and Business Choice Plan Change for tree canopy cover are not lost.
Earlier this week the Council decided it would not notify the Plan Change because it does not support the one-size fits all approach to housing intensification enabled by the Government-directed Medium Density Residential Standards.
There were provisions though in the Plan Change that would have ensured that new housing development did not come at the expense of the city’s tree canopy.
As part of the Proposed Housing and Business Choice Plan, the Council planned to start charging developers of residential sites Financial Contributions if their developments left a site with less than 20 per cent tree canopy cover.
Developers can retain or plant trees or they can pay the financial contributions. Money raised through the Financial Contributions would have been used by the Council to plant trees on publicly-owned land around the city.
Today, the Mayor put forward a resolution seeking the Council’s support for having the tree protection provisions incorporated into whatever plan change gets notified following the Council’s discussions with central Government.
If it is not possible to incorporate the provisions into the plan change, the Mayor suggested the Council should pursue a stand-alone plan change.
The Council voted in support of both measures.
“Trees are very important to the identify of Christchurch as a the Garden City so we are looking at both regulatory and non-regulatory actions that we can take to achieve a sustainable increase of tree canopy cover across the city,’’ says Mayor Dalziel.
“One of the regulatory actions we can take is through making changes to our District Plan; we should not forego that simply because we disagree with some of the direction we are being given about how much housing intensification we should permit in our city. We need to protect our trees.’’