How will land identified in the Rural Residential Development Strategy be rezoned for rural residential?

The Waimakariri District Plan Review process is the key vehicle through which the Rural Residential Development Strategy will be implemented. The Proposed District Plan is intended to be publicly notified from mid-2020. Most likely, the Proposed District Plan will apply a ‘Rural Residential Growth Area Overlay’ (or similar) which indicates that the area is identified for rural residential development and subsequent rezoning. This will be accompanied by District Plan provisions to enable this approach.

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.

Landowners interested in having their land rezoned will need to provide 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. 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.

The pre-application services and the expertise of the Duty Planner offered by Council can have a role in assisting landowners interested in having their land rezoned for rural residential use through the District Plan Review process or otherwise (e.g. private plan change application). Meetings can be requested with staff to help facilitate communication and provide an opportunity to discuss District Plan requirements, processes, and relevant documents required to support a submission to the Notified District Plan to have their land rezoned (e.g. flood hazard, geotechnical reports etc). A Project Advisory Group (PAG) meeting may also be requested by landowners if required. This service draws together key relevant Council staff to review, discuss and provide impartial, and without prejudice advice on development relating to significant land use activities and subdivision proposals and prospective District Plan change requests.

The Rural Residential Development Strategy signals an intent for the Strategy to be ‘checked’ in 2022, in order to reconcile it against other work including the District Plan Review, if necessary. The quantum of anticipated and/or actual land rezoned for rural residential use as an outcome of the Strategy and the District Plan Review will then be better known and will inform this exercise.