Otago Daily Times

Plan­ning changes ill­re­ceived

- LO­GAN CHURCH Urbanism · Society · Christchurch · Auckland Region · Wellington, New Zealand · National Park Service · Dunedin · New Zealand · Urban Planning · Christchurch United

CHRISTCHUR­CH: Rules that would in­crease build­ing heights and scrap min­i­mum car­park­ing re­quire­ments in parts of Christchur­ch have been called ‘‘hor­rif­i­cally tone­deaf’’ and an ‘‘Auck­land plan writ­ten by Wellington bu­reau­crats’’.

It comes as the Christchur­ch City Coun­cil works on an im­ple­men­ta­tion plan for the na­tional pol­icy state­ment (NPS) on ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, re­leased in July, which aimed to in­crease hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in ur­ban ar­eas.

Five ‘‘tier­one’’ cities, which in­cluded Christchur­ch, would be di­rected to free up rules around plan­ning de­ci­sions.

Dunedin is listed as a tier­two city.

The Christchur­ch coun­cil was di­rected to make changes to its district plan, which in­cluded scrap­ping — with­out public con­sul­ta­tion — all min­i­mum car park­ing re­quire­ments by Fe­bru­ary 2022 and in­creas­ing build­ing heights and den­si­ties in cer­tain parts of the city by Au­gust 2022.

The coun­cil’s ur­ban de­vel­op­ment and trans­port com­mit­tee — which was made up of all city coun­cil­lors and the mayor — was briefed yes­ter­day on this work and dis­cussed the af­fects the NPS could have on Christchur­ch.

Many coun­cil­lors told the meet­ing the NPS seemed di­rected at fix­ing prob­lems in Auck­land, and would in­stead cause prob­lems in Christchur­ch, es­pe­cially around the avail­abil­ity of car park­ing in the city — an is­sue that fre­quently came up around the coun­cil ta­ble.

Cr James Gough called it ‘‘noth­ing more than an Auck­land pol­icy’’.

‘‘Some of our big­gest plan­ning is­sues in the city [are] park­ing — or the lack of it.’’

He said the ‘‘hor­rif­i­cally tonedeaf’’ NPS was like ‘‘cram­ming a round peg into a square hole’’.

Cr Sam MacDon­ald said it looked like an ‘‘Auck­land plan writ­ten by Wellington bu­reau­crats’’. — The New Zealand Herald

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