Backing for Christchurch subdivision

A plan to build more than 800 homes on the western fringes of Riccarton Racecourse has received conditional public backing.

The subdivision would be built in five stages and provide a mix of two-storey townhouses, villas, cottages and single-storey homes fronting leafy laneways and boulevard-style streets, according to a report to the Christchurch City Council’s strategy and finance committee.

The properties would range in size from 120 square metres to 600sqm and the development would include a community hub and cafe.

The report shows developers hope to start building in March 2017, with the first home completed by July that year.

The first stage, fronting Yaldhurst Rd, would have 148 sections.

The developers have asked the council to grant the project exemplar status under the Land Use Recovery Plan, which would see it fast-tracked in a bid to meet the city’s housing demands.

To be granted the status, the project must meet criteria on housing density, affordability and energy efficiency.

A council report said the project did not meet all the requirements, but staff were keen to keep working with the developers toward exemplar status.

At the committee meeting yesterday, Cr Yani Johanson said he did not see anything exemplar about the project and questioned why the council would give it that status.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the committee was not recommending the project be given exemplar status at this stage, instead it was signalling Ngai Tahu was heading in the right direction, but it was not there yet.

‘‘We would like to keep Ngai Tahu engaged in this process,’’ she said.

Council senior urban regeneration advisor John Meeker said the project performed strongly on delivering energy efficiency and medium density, but there were no guarantees about how it would achieve the affordable housing criteria.

The committee recommended that the council give the project its conditional backing, but ask Ngai Tahu to keep working to achieve the council’s ‘‘full approval in principle’’.

The developers have jointly lodged a submission on the Christchurch City Council’s Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan asking for the land to be re-zoned from open space to ‘‘new neighbourhood’’.

The land in question includes the site for Riccarton Market, which is the largest of its kind in the South Island, attracting up to 12,000 visitors and 350 vendors each Sunday. Market organisers have said the market would find another home if it was forced off its present site.


  • Tina Law
  • The Press

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