Upcoming demand for workers’ temporary accommodation has prompted changes to the Christchurch City Plan and the Banks Peninsula, Waimakariri and Selwyn district plans to make the development process easier, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
The Minister has used Section 27 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to streamline the Resource Management Act and Building Act consenting process. This will ensure the process for developing worker accommodation is simplified and offers more options.
Mr Brownlee says the changes have been made in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and will provide certainty for councils, developers and communities on possible locations for workers’ temporary accommodation.
“Each district’s plan has specific objectives, policies and rules for worker accommodation and each council is still the first point of contact for prospective developers,” Mr Brownlee says.
“But in adapting the plans using the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act we have enabled this process to move quickly and ensure the anticipated demand will be catered for.”
Mr Brownlee says estimates show some 30,000 short term workers are going to be needed for the Christchurch rebuild.
“Those workers won’t all be needed at the same time but as the rebuild progresses there will be an ongoing need for temporary housing.
“The ability for developers to work through the consenting process with councils in a timely way is important, and by adapting the district plans we can make sure this process runs smoothly.”
The changes will allow temporary buildings to house up to 200 people in central city areas that are zoned ‘mixed use’ in Christchurch, and up to 20 people in some residential and commercial zone areas.
Mr Brownlee says prospective developers of these types of facilities now need to get in touch with their relevant council to work through the consenting process.
Workers Accommodation Fact Sheet Sept 2012 (pdf 671.59 KB