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Big plans for Little River announced

Wednesday, February 15, 2017   Posted in: Earthquake By: Administrator With tags: Community development, urban design, planning

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 13th February 2017

A community-driven plan is breathing new life into the Little River township.

The plan is called "Little River Big Ideas" and is the end result of more than two years work by the local community and the Little River Issues Working Party. It outlines the community’s ideas for improving the township and the steps that need to be taken to turn those ideas into reality.

Little River's main street.The plan will be a guide to future decision making on a number of bigger projects that agencies like the Council, Environment Canterbury and the NZ Transport Agency could consider. For example, it outlines the local community's desire for a lower speed limit through Little River and for work to be done to reduce the flooding risk, particularly in the Ōkana and Ōkuti valleys.

The plan was put together using the expertise of the local community, with some support from Council’s urban regeneration team and the community governance team.

Other communities are now following Little River’s lead and developing their own community plans with support from Christchurch City Council. For example work is currently under way on a community plan for Diamond Harbour.

Pam Richardson is a member of the Little River Issues Working Party and Deputy Chairperson of the Banks Peninsula Community Board. Pam said Little River Big Ideas represented the community’s aspirations for the area.

“This plan makes the aspirations of the Wairewa community clear to all the relevant agencies and gives us a strong basis on which to approach them for funding for certain projects,’’ Mrs Richardson says.

“Importantly it also lays the groundwork for the community to get involved and to take the lead in the projects they feel passionately about. We’ve already got people putting their hand up to take charge of projects which means we can start bringing this plan to life.

“We’ve had lots of plans for Little River before but they’ve largely sat on shelf and gone nowhere. This plan is different because it is community-driven. It has got legs and we’re looking forward to showcasing just what can be achieved when everyone works together with a common vision and purpose," Mrs Richardson said.

How quickly the plan was implemented would depend on the extent the community got engaged and worked together, but Mrs Richardson said a number of ideas and projects embodied in the plan were already being worked on.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles said the Council welcomed the Little River community's initiative and expertise in putting together the plan.

"Little River has set an example for other communities, and we look forward to working alongside them in the future."

Download or read an online copy of "Little River Big Ideas" [PDF].

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