Will the Rural District Development Strategy rezone land for rural residential?

The final Strategy will not rezone land. The purpose of the Rural Residential Development Strategy is to determine indicative directions for rural residential growth. While this draft Strategy proposes a number of growth directions, the final Strategy will provide a more refined number of indicative growth areas informed by the draft Strategy process, comments received during public consultation, and any further expert advice received.

The most suitable method of implementation via the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan will be determined when it is clear to what extent the landowners within the identified growth areas are interested in developing their land.

There is an option that the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan applies a ‘Rural Residential Growth Area Overlay’ (or similar) which indicates that the area is identified for rural residential development and subsequent rezoning. This would be accompanied by District Plan provisions to enable this approach. Options will be outlined as part of the notification of the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan. Upon notification of the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan, landowners interested in developing their land have the opportunity to submit on the Proposed Waimakariri District Plan, requesting that the land be rezoned rural residential.

The Rural Residential Development Strategy site selection process involved determination of constraints at a relatively high level. Therefore, landowners interested in having their land rezoned would need to provide more detailed assessments to support their submission (or as part of a separate private plan change application) that demonstrate their land is suitable for rezoning for rural residential use. These investigations typically address flood hazard; stormwater, water and wastewater servicing; transportation; geotechnical; and soil contamination. Council has a regulatory role to review such investigations with a high level of scrutiny. District Plan Review decision makers (or in the case of a private plan change application, the decision makers assigned to that private plan change) will then decide, based on the evidence provided, whether the land should be rezoned for rural residential use.