Call for Selwyn councillors to reject big Lincoln housing plan

Many Lincoln residents want to retain the land north of Collins Rd as it it and not have it...
Many Lincoln residents want to retain the land north of Collins Rd as it it and not have it turned into a residential area. Photo: Star News
Lincoln residents opposed to a controversial Carter Group proposal to build 1710 homes on rural land are calling on Selwyn district councillors to reject a hearing commissioner’s recommendation.

However, the district council is likely to adopt the recommendation and approve Carter Group’s Lincoln South rezoning application, named Plan Change 69, when it considers it at an upcoming meeting.

The development is proposed for 190ha to the immediate south of the Te Whāriki and Verdeco residential subdivisions, to the east and west of Springs Rd, and to the north of Collins Rd.

The plan was originally for 2000 homes, but the number of sections has been reduced, alongside other improvements being made, including roading, provision of additional business zones and potentially a new primary school.

An initial road link through Liffey Springs has been deleted, while traffic signals will have to installed at Springs Rd/Ellesmere Junction Rd/Gerald St, seal widening undertaken on the Lincoln South connection with Moirs Lane and Ellesmere Rd and pedestrian and cycle crossing on Springs Rd installed on the Lincoln University road frontage.

Many of the improvements are to be funded by the developer, and to be completed before homes are occupied.

The contentious planned 190ha Lincoln South housing development has been given the green light by...
The contentious planned 190ha Lincoln South housing development has been given the green light by a hearing commissioner. It now needs district council approval to go ahead. Image: Supplied
Nevertheless, many residents in the township remain opposed.

Sam Elder, spokesperson for a group that organised a community meeting last year, said she and fellow members were “extremely disappointed” to see that hearing Commissioner David Caldwell’s draft recommendation, released last week, recommends the district council approve the application.

Elder said it was “a slap in the face” for the Lincoln community, which had made its opposition to the rezoning application, named Plan Change 69, clear by opposing it in the submissions process.

There were about 255 submissions to the proposal, the majority of which were in opposition.

Sam Elder.
Sam Elder.
“If developers can build here, they can build anywhere,” Elder said, referring to the problems raised by submitters. These included loss of agricultural soils, flood hazard, ecological pressure, pressure on infrastructure and lack of schooling.

Springs Ward councillor Grant Miller said on the basis of the commissioner having thoroughly addressed submitters’ concerns, he would be likely to support the recommendation.

With regard to Lincoln losing productive agricultural land, he said while a portion of the PC69 land was considered to have versatile soils, by the same token there would be more increased public green spaces and attractive urban environment that Lincoln was already renowned for.

“It’s a delicate trade off, and the commissioner has spent a lot of time thinking about this, it hasn’t been a rush decision,” Miller said.

With regard to schooling, Miller understood Carter Group was in discussion with the Ministry of Education about a further primary school in the area should it be required. Additionally, expansion of Lincoln could result in Lincoln High School getting a desired upgrade and rebuild sooner than expected.

The recommendation is currently in draft form, as the commissioner sought further input on specific points in the draft, which had to be submitted by Monday this week.