Tait gets consent for buildings

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 26/12/2012
Tait Communications' concept design

PARK-LIKE: Tait’s concept design for the first building of its new campus.

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Christchurch's leading electronics firm, Tait, has the green light for two large buildings and associated car parks and landscaping on rural land in Harewood.

The Christchurch City Council released the decision on Monday.

Tait has escaped having to pay for traffic lights at the intersection near its offices because commissioner Ken Lawn, who heard the resource consent application, decided they were not needed.

Traffic lights were costed at at least $750,000.

The 7000-square-metre and 2000-square-metre buildings, car parks and landscaping are part of a more than $30 million business and technology park development being planned by Tait.

The consent has some conditions but commissioner Lawn decided not to impose the condition that Tait pay for traffic lights at the intersection of Wairakei, Roydvale and Wooldridge roads.

The impact on traffic at that intersection was the most debated part of the resource consent application.

The council argued the impact of the expansion of Tait would have more than a minor impact on traffic.

The council's position had been that it would fund 30 per cent of installation costs, and wanted Tait to pay 70 per cent.

Council planning consultant Bob Nixon said Tait's proposal would not be contrary to the objectives and policies of the City Plan. He said the consent should be granted subject to several conditions.

Lawn said in the decision "I am reasonably persuaded by the arguments put forward by Tait that upgrading the intersection to traffic lights is not necessary as a condition to be imposed on this consent."

Additional delays affected only one leg of the intersection, although those were likely to be significant.

While he had decided that there would be some adverse effects on the Wooldridge Rd leg of the intersection that were more than minor, the need for traffic lights might go away in four to six years. However, there might be other growth in the area, including on the balance of the Tait land, so it might later require traffic lights.

Lawn said the application would provide a park-like environment, providing a transition from urban business development to the more rural character to the north. It reflected an efficient use and development of the site without compromising the quality of the environment and in his view added to it.

Of the 38 public submissions on the application, 37 were in support and one was against. Christchurch International Airport took a position of conditional support. Agreement had been reached between the airport and Tait on conditions over lighting and birdstrike.

Lawn said the form of development was envisaged by other planning documents, Plan Change One to the Regional Policy Statement, the North West Review Area Study and Proposed Plan Change 73.

Both the applicant and the council considered these documents gave strong indications that this area could be developed for business purposes.

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