Redcliffs resource consent is not a precedent

HOT TOPIC: About 100 people, including Southshore and South New Brighton residents packed into the Redcliffs Bowling Club to discuss difficulties they are facing in getting consents to extend their property or build on an empty section.

An outcome allowing a property to be built in Redcliffs is unlikely to help Southshore and South New Brighton residents struggling to get resource and building consents.

An independent hearings panel has granted Redcliffs section owner Wendy Gilchrist resource consent to build on a waterfront site in Main Rd, after a year-long wait.

It is a small win in an ongoing saga where coastal residents living in the city council’s High Flood Management Plan area are facing difficulties obtaining resource consent to extend their homes or build on empty sections.

But Coastal-­Burwood Community Board deputy chairman Tim Sintes said he does not believe the decision has set a precedent for others in the same situation.

He said not a lot of people can afford to through an independent hearings panel process and there is no clear path moving forward.

The hearing panel said Mrs Gilchrist’s consent was an exception and “cannot in any way create a planning precedent for applications on sites in other parts of the Residential Unit Overlay.”

But following the decision, city council acting head of resource consents Andy Christofferson wrote in a memorandum to Mayor Lianne Dalziel the panel’s ruling would be “valuable in shaping city council officers thinking on this matter going forward.”

It came a day after more than 100 residents met with Christchurch Coastal Residents United to hear about issues being faced by coastal property owners when trying to get resource and building consents.

The CCRU is made up of  coastal residents and experts.

The meeting looked at how 1486 sites in a Restricted Unit Overlay within the High Flood Hazard Management Area are being treated by city council planners.

The CCRU believes a restricted discretionary activity rule, recommended by the replacement District Plan independent hearings panel, was left out when the plan was finalised last year.

Without the discretionary rule, under the District Plan new developments or intensification of land use in the High Flood Management Plan area is to be avoided.

Mr Sintes, who attended the meeting, said it was a very good meeting and it is going to continue lobbying to resolve the issue.

Last month Labour MPs Ruth Dyson, Duncan Webb and Poto Williams met with members of CCRU and Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board member Darrell Latham to discuss the problem and a potential remedy.

Ms Dyson said after that meeting they had agreed to do further investigations before making a decision on “what intervention, if any, is necessary or appropriate.”

Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board member Darrell Latham said he wanted Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods to use her powers under the Christchurch Regeneration Act to fast track changes to the city’s district plan.

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