Lyttelton, Sydenham recovery 'closer'

Last updated 08:06 05/05/2012

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Recovery plans for Lyttelton and Sydenham's earthquake- hit centres are a step closer after the Christchurch City Council fast-tracked the planning process.

Councillors this week voted to skip public hearings for the two draft masterplans.

The plans were prepared as part of the council's suburban centres programme, which was set up to support the rebuild of quake-damaged commercial areas.

A staff report had said hearings for the plans were not necessary because of the high level of community support and the need to move ahead with the suburbs' recoveries.

The report said the Lyttelton plan had received 197 submissions, while 43 submissions were received for the Sydenham plan.

About 90 per cent of the Lyttelton submissions supported the plan, while nearly 93 per cent of Sydenham submissions were in favour of the document.

Banks Peninsula councillor Claudia Reid said the Lyttelton plan was a "very swift response" that would ensure the community's views were at the forefront during the rebuild.

Spreydon-Heathcote councillor Barry Corbett said the draft Sydenham plan had won widespread support throughout the community, with few changes recommended. "They [council staff] must have done something really well for all of the public to be happy with what came through."

Acting mayor Ngaire Button said the decision to move to the next stage was a "great day" for the quake-hit city.

Council healthy environment programme manager Jenny Ridgen said staff would prepare a final draft of the plans for council approval, based on the public submissions and community board recommendations, which would be presented to councillors by the end of June, "all going well".

Initial work on some of the projects in the plans would start next year, she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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