Land rezoned in the Greater Christchurch area during the last 18 months will in time provide sections for more than 20,000 new homes, says Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Independent Chair Bill Wasley.
“Our best indication from developers is that up to 6600 greenfield sections are expected to be released on the market during the next two years, a number likely to exceed the demand from Red Zone households looking to relocate and build new homes.
“These sections are throughout Christchurch and in the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts.”
His comments follow concerns there is insufficient residential zoned land available within Greater Christchurch for displaced homeowners on which to rebuild.
“Under the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS), work has been underway for more than five years to manage urban development in the Christchurch City and Waimakariri and Selwyn districts.
“There are currently more than 600 sections available in Christchurch, the majority in the south-west greenfield developments of Wigram Skies, Aidanfield and Yaldhurst.”
He says by the end of next year, the city will have up to 3173 additional sections available, the majority being located in the south west and Belfast areas, the two areas identified in the UDS as best able to accommodate future urban growth and development.
It is also expected an additional 220 sections will be coming on stream from urban renewal developments within the city and based on recent trends a further 300 sections will be available for infill housing.
Mr Wasley says within the next two years he expects there will also be more than 2100 sections available for homeowners to build in the Waimakariri District, 900 of these in Kaiapoi, and almost 1300 sections in the Selwyn District of which 550 will be in Rolleston and 380 in Lincoln.
“Given this availability, and data from Statistics NZ that suggests about 9000 people have left the Christchurch area since February 2011, it is unlikely there would need to be more greenfield land made available than that already identified for development through to 2041.
“By that time it is projected Christchurch will have accommodated growth for more than 53,000 new households in greenfields and existing communities, Selwyn a further 12,000 and Waimakariri close to 10,000, a total of around 75,000 new homes.”
He says the local authorities and CERA are working closely with developers to encourage a timely release of sections on the market to meet demand.
One of the challenges is ensuring local authorities are able to provide the necessary infrastructure in time to meet the needs for new housing, particularly in respect to greenfield development, which Christchurch City Council Strategy and Planning General Manager Mike Theelen says the Councils are addressing.
“There should be no problems with infrastructure meeting short term demand. Councils, CERA and developers are carefully looking at the timing and location for new infrastructure beyond that, particularly where no infrastructure has been previously planned,” he says.
”In some other instances this may involve accelerating the delivery of what has already been programmed.”
Mr Wasley says one area still to be addressed is the provision of housing for those relocating to Christchurch to work on the rebuild and temporary accommodation for residents while their houses are being repaired or rebuilt.
He says clearly there is a need to closely monitor the situation but the focus should now be on getting the land already zoned to market for the building of new homes to begin and making this information more readily available to the public so they can make informed decisions about their future.