Christchurch Replacement District Plan
Notice of Decisions are out for Chapter 17 of the Christchurch Replacement District Plan, ‘Rural and relevant definitions’.
We kept the scope of our submission narrow to reflect that this is not a huge grower area, instead focussing on key land use issues. Our overall observation, from a HortNZ viewpoint, is that these decisions are excellent, and we can take a lot out of the decision to use in other areas.
Essentially what we have here is a well-structured package that fully recognises the importance of the rural environment to greater Christchurch and beyond. A range of opportunities is enabled in the rural environment, primarily for rural productive activities, and also for other activities which use rural resources efficiently and contribute positively to the economy.
Plenty is covered, but the main Rural Objectives and Policies:
· Support and maintain the potential contribution of rural productive activities to the economy and wellbeing of the district.
· Avoid and mitigate significant reverse sensitivity effects, as well as good direction on expectations around residential units in the rural environment in terms of reverse sensitivity.
· Recognise those elements of rural production that define rural character and amenity values.
· Acknowledge that rural productive activities in rural areas can produce noise, odour, dust and traffic consistent with a rural working environment, including farming, plantation forestry and quarrying, that may be noticeable to residents and visitors in rural areas.
· Relate the function of the different rural zones to the nature, scale and intensity of subdivision, use and development of resources.
Meanwhile, on key land use standards, we achieved greater building height limits for farm buildings, removal of an Impervious Surface Limitation for sites over 4 hectares, and achieved definitions of greenhouses, ‘Artificial Crop Protection Structures’ and ‘Crop Support Structures’.
So congratulations are due to the Christchurch City Council and the Independent Hearings Panel – well done on this. Let’s hope more Plans follow suit.
-Mike Chapman, CEO