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Christchurch City Council Draft Plan Discussion for Churches

At present the CCC are seeking submissions on the Replacement Christchurch District Plan. The current wording has MAJOR IMPLICATIONS for churches in terms of building restrictions.

What does this mean for my Church?

Unless challenged via the submission process, the changes could result in significant costs, time delays and require expensive and complicated Resource Consents, whereby churches are ‘tolerated’ as an out of zone activity rather than valued and recognized as playing an important role in the social well-being and connectedness of communities.

How can I get involved?

  • Read the 2 page summary called “Phase 2 of the Replacement Christchurch District Plan” written by Jane Anderson of CHCH planning firm PLANZ ConsultantsRaise the topic with your leadership/elders etc. and communicate clearly that we have a small window of time to make our voice heard.
  • Register your interest by emailing bob@planzconsultants.co.nz and sending him the following info:Location and name of each church;If possible the legal descriptions of each parcel;

    If possible, the date of establishment (this is more for the post 1995 churches)

    The state of repair of each church;

    Any intention of future development – both on existing sites or on new sites

    Why do we need to get as many churches as possible involved?

We need to send a clear message to the council that communicates;

How many churches the new rules will impact negatively

The scope of valuable community services that also operate from church buildings (Youth trusts, food banks, budgeting services, counselling services etc)

The consultants fees ought to be shared among a large group of submitters (as it affects all churches). A huge thanks to the Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist representatives who’ve alone borne the cost of consultants fees so far during Phase 1 of the hearings. It’s time many more of us have our say and share the cost (the more churches involved- the cheaper it gets). A huge thanks also to Rev. Kathryn Walters, Superintendent of the Central South Island Synod of the Methodist Church for highlighting the urgency of this issue earlier this year via Te Raranga.

What will happen if I do nothing?

The window of time for protecting our interests is very short. Although the groups concerns will be bundled together and submitted as one, each church must be registered as a “submitter” (as defined by the council) in order to be involved in the District Plan Review on the issues that have a direct impact on future church developments – this means that any future resource consent you may seek for your church will come at significantly higher costs and may be declined as an “out of zone” activity. The Hearings are the first and only opportunity to have your say as the avenue for appealing via the Environment Court has been REMOVED (which only leaves the High Court).

Let’s not look back in 3 years time and wish we had acted while the opportunity was there to make it easier for both ourselves and the next generation.

Key contacts:

Planzconsultants Planners

Jane Anderson

Bob Nixon

bob@planzconsultants.co.nz 

ddi 372 2283

Please find here a brief outline of the key issues and implications associated with the Phase 2 of the District Plan. It is anticipated that each church will fall into one or more categories, that is: church buildings established prior to 1995, those that have pre 1995 that were damaged/demolished in the earthquake sequences, and those that were established after 1995.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this process we will need a little bit of information from all churches, this is as follows:

Location and name of each church;
If possible the legal descriptions of each parcel;
If possible, the date of establishment (this is more for the post 1995 churches)
The state of repair of each church; and
Any intention of future development – both on existing sites or on new sites
Please note that we may use the location, name and legal descriptions for public use, however the state of repair and future development matters will be treated as private and confidential and are only sought at this point as an indication as to which of the three categories your church falls into.

Additionally, if you do wish to be involved in the submission process and wish to engage us to represent your interest through the process, please fill in the agreement.

Please feel free to share this information with any representative of a ‘spiritual activities’ that you think would be interested in becoming involved.