Otago Daily Times

Planning changes illreceive­d


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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