Help for businesses returning to CBD

A ratepayer-funded one-stop shop has been set up to help property owners and businesses plot their return to Christchurch's central city.

Rebuild Central has started operating out of its Lichfield St base where a team of urban designers, planners, designers, resource and building consent staff and others can help businesses with their plans to redevelop or relocate to the central city.

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt said it aimed to make it as easy as possible for property owners wanting to be part of the central city rebuild.

Many staff had worked on the council's draft central city plan and have "a strong understanding of what is required to rebuild the central city and make it a vibrant, prosperous place", Marryatt said.

The team offers advice on design, planning and the development of precincts earmarked for the area, and can assign case managers to help developers ''navigate'' the resource and building consent process.

Marryatt said the first step for those looking to redevelop in the city's centre was to understand what was happening in that area and how they could connect with others keen to return there.

''This will ensure we have better development outcomes and we create places and spaces in line with the aspirations our community shared last year as part of the Share An Idea consultation.''

Rebuild Central's focus was not just on the central city, with its staff able to help projects and plans in the Lyttelton and Sydenham areas as well.

The Press