Council backs rejection of 850-home development


A private plan change application to rezone land for an 850-home subdivision at Ohoka has been...
A private plan change application to rezone land for an 850-home subdivision at Ohoka has been declined. Image: Waimakariri District Council
A decision to reject a new 850-home subdivision in Ohoka has the backing of Waimakariri's council.

However, the Waimakariri District Council now faces criticism it hasn't provided enough provision for future population growth.

Independent commissioners last week declined the private plan change proposal to rezone land for the controversial subdivision in Okoka, near Rangiora.

The council - which earlier voiced opposition to the subdivision - voted on Tuesday to accept the commissioners' recommendation.

But in their decision, the commissioners also criticised the Waimakariri District Council for not allowing enough provision for future housing growth.

Council chief executive Jeff Millward is confident it could meet the demand for housing. Photo:...
Council chief executive Jeff Millward is confident it could meet the demand for housing. Photo: David Hill / North Canterbury News
Council chief executive Jeff Millward said he was confident the council could meet the demand for housing.

Provisions for more housing featured in the proposed Waimakariri District Plan, notified in November 2021, and in the Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan, which has just finished consultation.

‘‘Making provision for growth is not a new concept to the council and for some 30 years or more we have undergone and made provision for housing and business growth which has been significant.’’

The draft Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan is a partnership between the Christchurch City Council and the Selwyn and Waimakariri district councils.

Development opportunities have been identified in northeast, southeast and southwest Rangiora, and in east/north Kaiapoi.

The draft plan stated: ‘‘Meeting the projected demand for housing over the next 30 years is not a major issue for Greater Christchurch.’’

The plan referred to recent rezoning, greenfields identified for development, and further intensification under new medium density housing standards.

The proposed Ohoka development was not identified for development in either the draft spatial plan or its predecessor, Our Space 2018-2048: Greater Christchurch Settlement Pattern Update, which was prepared in 2018.

Rolleston Industrial Developments Ltd, a subsidiary of Carter Group, had requested the plan change. It proposed building the 850 homes on a 156ha site, neighbouring Ohoka.

In the application, the developer cited provisions in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which allowed for development in growth areas, such as Greater Christchurch.

But in their conclusion, the commissioners found the proposed development did not give effect to the National Policy Statement on Urban Development or the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.

The commissioners said they considered the suitability of land for urban development, provision of infrastructure, transportation, and urban design and urban form.

Oxford-Ohoka Community Board chairperson Thomas Robson said he was pleased the commissioners had listened to the concerns of the community.

‘‘We believe this decision underlines the importance of the submission process, and hope it will encourage even more community involvement in the governance of the district.’’

The council received 648 submissions, with 93 percent opposing the application.

The applicant and any submitters will have 30 days to make an appeal to the Environment Court.

Comment has been sought from Carter Group.

- By David Hill
Local Democracy Reporter

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