Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

City rebuild plan 'unworkable'

Christchurch rebuild plans have been deemed unworkable by developers. Photo / Geoff Sloan
Christchurch rebuild plans have been deemed unworkable by developers. Photo / Geoff Sloan

Plans for Christchurch's rebuild have been criticised by commercial developers who believe it is unworkable.

The Property Council made a submission to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority calling the Christchurch City Council's draft central city plan restrictive and saying it was undermining the business community's efforts to rebuild.

Graeme McDonald, the Property Council's branch president for the South Island, said the plan failed to acknowledge the key challenges facing existing owners of commercial property, while putting more conditions on the construction of new buildings.

"The current draft plan includes ideological restrictions on building height, placement, floor area, and parking needs, favouring a green city over an economically viable city," he said. "There is insufficient incentive for property owners to rebuild or reinvest back into the CBD. The local economy will be severely at risk if capital exits the Canterbury region altogether, hindering the rebuild efforts even further."

But the council says it has spent the past eight months developing the plan in consultation with the greater Christchurch community, key stakeholders, and partners Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, and Environment Canterbury.

It says the plan provides the framework to guide the redevelopment of the central area, including more than 70 projects and initiatives to be implemented during the next 10 to 20 years.

- NZ Herald

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