Subdivision all go under new plan

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013
Roy Hamilton
Dean Kozanic
ROY HAMILTON: Approval was 'a long time coming'.

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Christchurch's new housing plan has cleared the way for a subdivision of 2200 homes on a site bigger than Hagley Park.

Highfield, planned for 206 rural hectares between Redwood, Mairehau and Belfast, was approved by the city council in May but then drew four appeals.

On Friday Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee's Land Use Recovery Plan (Lurp) overrode the appeal process to bring into law the rezoning the council had approved.

The Lurp opens up more land for new housing development in the greater Christchurch area, identifies land for future development, and relaxes rules on high-density housing within the city. Aimed at easing housing pressure, it will make room for 40,000 homes on new sections over the next 15 years, and 8000 to 10,000 homes on previously developed land.

Highfield developer Roy Hamilton said that while they had been working on the project all along, they could now step up progress and start building.

"It was frustrating that we had to wait six or eight months. We're very pleased. It means we can get on with the marketing and design work and sales can start immediately."

Hamilton said they already had a database of potential buyers. He expected to start building the subdivision in March or April.

The Highfield project will comprise 180ha of development next to land set aside for the city's new northern motorway, plus reserve and stormwater drainage areas and road buffers. It will have two shopping precincts, cafes, retirement homes, and parks.

The first stage of Highfield will have 125 home sites. Most sites will include completed homes with solar-generated electricity, while some will be bare sections.

The Lurp also rezones four parcels of rural land for housing around the Upper Styx River north of Christchurch, known as the Highsted area.

It will include a development plan for the Highsted area, allowing for about 350 homes and a scheme to manage stormwater.

The Lurp was put together at the request of the High Court when it set aside Brownlee's earlier land use plan after a legal challenge from developers and others.

Brownlee delayed introducing the new plan to give the newly-elected Christchurch City Council a chance to give its input.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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