Govt slams planning changes as inadequate


The Government has attacked the Christchurch City Council’s proposed planning changes, labelling them inadequate and saying they restrict innovation and constrain plans to build more homes. 

In its 401-page submission to the Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan, the Government said the council’s proposals required significant reworking because they did not recognise the magnitude of change required to address the scale and importance of rebuilding and recovery.

The plan, which addresses how land can be developed and how the council proposes to mitigate the risk of natural hazards, failed to emphasise ‘‘positive planning for growth and change’’, the Government said.

‘‘Hard decisions are needed now to improve the proposals,’’ the submission said.

The submission was particularly critical of the council’s plan to increase the housing supply.

The Government said the plan did not enable sufficient residential intensification, particularly medium-density developments and would restrict innovation and ‘‘give rise to undue transaction costs and inefficiencies’’.

It said it appeared likely proposals would fall short of delivering the level of capacity needed in Christchurch to provide for housing needs and to ensure the central city thrived. ntsG became a thriving heart.nte

The proposals would undermine the Government and the council’s joint multimillion-dollar project to provide 99 new homes on the corner of Colombo and Brougham streets, the submission said.

‘‘The proposals are weighted excessively towards restricting the negative effects of development rather than enabling and encouraging recovery and future growth,’’ the Government said.

The rules for commercial and industrial development were complex and a significant number of activities within commercial areas would only occur through a resource consent process, it said.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Government was trying to change a culture among planners that had contributed to housing unaffordability.

The Government’s submission was not all negative, and did support some proposals, including the council’s approach to managing natural hazards and the  plans to reduce people’s reliance on cars.

The Press