Christchurch City Council Plan Change 14
Submissions close on Friday 12 May at 11:59pm.
The Christchurch City Council is proposing changes to the District Plan in alignment with new government directives around urban planning and housing. These changes will enable housing intensification in Christchurch around commercial centres and public transport routes. This plan will also help with increasing Christchurch's tree canopy cover.
We are pushing for a plan that will enable Christchurch to become a vibrant, accessible livable city that is not car dependent. These changes would reduce emissions, improve the environment and wellbeing in our city.
Some changes have been made to the original plan (such as the sunlight access qualifying matter) due to intense lobbying by homeowner groups wanting to maintain property values at the expense of enabling more housing. We are pushing against these changes as it would prevent Christchurch from becoming a livable city of the future.
We support most parts of Plan Change 14 as once it is finalised, we can begin housing intensification in highly serviced areas with good public transport, which would in turn make it more efficient to invest in Mass Rapid Transit systems such as light rail and commuter trains. Doing this as soon as possible would allow the city to make great strides towards reducing our emissions so we can meet both local and Zero Carbon Act emission reduction goals. The plan also have plans to ensure that our urban tree canopy cover in the city will increase, as trees are vital in regulating local climates in urban areas, as well as providing numerous wellbeing and aesthetic benefits.
We are imploring the council to remove the Sunlight Access Qualifying Matter as it would gut the aim of the government legislation to increase density as it would keep height/stories restrictions on new builds to similar levels we have currently. This qualifying matter has been developed with the expressed purpose of protecting and increasing property values rather than increasing the amount of affordable housing for people. The sunlight access argument does not hold up since there are many cities in the world that have high density and are further from the equator than Christchurch. Cities such as Vienna, Copenhagen, Toronto, Geneva, and Calgary are consistently ranked some of the most livable cities in the world.
We are also imploring the council to remove the Low Public Transport Accessibility Area Qualifying Matter as it would restrict housing in some areas of the city because they are poorly serviced by the lack of current high frequency public transport routes. Some areas solely designated with this qualifying matter such as in Casebrook and Styx are close to rail corridors, existing commercial areas and are serviced by low frequency routes. In the future, these areas could see a boost in service by more buses on current routes or introduction of a commuter rail service. Therefore we believe areas should not be restricted on development due to the current layout and service of our public transport network.
You can find out more information on our previous work regarding Plan Change 14, our arguments for this plan and against the Sunlight Access Qualifying Matter here.