Plan Reviews Open for Submission

This update provides an overview of two current plan review processes that are currently open for submissions.

Proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan – Stage 3

Christchurch City Council has recently notified Stage 3 of its Proposed District Plan. This is the final stage of the process and addresses a number of important issues that will directly impact on property owners throughout Christchurch.

Some of the key changes proposed in Stage 3 include:

Natural hazards

  • Significant expansion to flood management areas to include much of the central city and the north west of Christchurch. New buildings in these areas will need to meet the minimum floor level for a 1 in 200 year flood event
  • Identification of new Ponding Areas and High Hazard areas that are most at risk of flooding. Subdivision and buildings in these areas will be a non-complying activity.
  • Identification of new coastal hazard areas that may be affected by inundation from sea water and coastal erosion in the next 50 and 100 years. For those affected in the 50 year timeframe, subdivision and new buildings are non-complying activities.

Outstanding / significant natural landscapes and features

  • Identifies outstanding and significant natural features and landscapes on the planning maps
  • Outstanding / significant features include natural features such as prominent rivers, lakes and coastline. These features are protected through limiting urban encroachment and restricting visually prominent uses
  • Outstanding / significant landscapes are generally located on the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula. These landscapes are protected through avoiding some types of development in these locations.

Ecological sites and indigenous vegetation

  • Identifies sites of ecological significance, which tend to be located along waterway and coastal margins. Vegetation planting and indigenous vegetation clearance are restricted in these areas.
  • More general rules proposed that control indigenous vegetation clearance throughout Christchurch City, Port Hills and Banks Peninsula

Heritage buildings

  • Changes classifications of exitsing heritage buildings and identifies a small number of new heritage buildings
  • Various amendments that generally increase consenting requirements to alter, repair or demolish heritage buildings. For example, demolitions of any heritage building is now a non-complying activity.
  • Introduces new rues that restrict modifications to the surrounding setting in which the building is located.

Central City

  • Carries over the majority of changes from the Central City Recovery Plan, but introduces several amendments including:
    • Amends the zoning of some areas, including replacing some of the existing cultural zones and introducing a new Central City Guest Accommodation Zone
    • Removes the requirements for a 7,500m² ODP in the retail precinct and replaces it with a requirement that all individual developments must obtain consent.


For some people, Stage 3 will be the most significant stage of the Proposed Plan as it proposes a number of new controls that do not currently exist in the City Plan. The controls can have long term impacts on the development potential and value of affected properties. It is also important to note that some of these rules have immediate legal effect, including those rules relating to ecological sites and heritage buildings.

Submissions are open on Stage 3 until Friday 4 September. If you have any questions about how Stage 3 may affect you please feel free to get in touch.

Further information on the Proposed Plan is available here

Land Use Recovery Plan Review

In addition to the above, there is another review occurring which is receiving comparatively less attention. This is the review of the Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP), which is a high level plan that was developed post-earthquake to set the framework for land use and development throughout Greater Christchurch.

One of the key parts of the LURP is the map containing the urban limits, which effectively determines where urban activities can and cannot occur.

A first round of submissions on the LURP has already been completed, with several submissions seeking amendments to the urban limits to include additional land. However, the draft recommendations do not accept any of these submissions and suggest that any changes should be left to Environment Canterbury and the territorial authorities to consider through a separate process.

One issue where further comment has been requested is in relation to any developments outside the urban limits that may have been inadvertently frustrated by the LURP. Examples are a small subdivision for a single new household or minor amendments to zone boundaries, such as those currently being considered through the Proposed Plan. If you are in this situation, you may wish to consider a submission to the LURP seeking greater flexibility to ensure that the LURP does not inhibit your development aspirations.

Submissions on the LURP are open until Friday 28 August. If you have any questions about the LURP review please feel free to get in touch.

Further information on the LURP review is available here



Posted on Thursday 20th August, 2015 at 10:57 am