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Regenerate ChCh narrows options for red zoned land

Wednesday, April 11, 2018   Posted in: Earthquake By: Administrator With tags: earthquake recovery, planning, environment

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 10th April 2018

The agency developing a regeneration plan for red-zoned land along the Ōtākaro/Avon River corridor says it will not pursue options for a flat water sports facility or large scale housing.

Regenerate Christchurch has also ruled out doing any further work on a land-swap to enable the establishment of a golf course within the corridor area.

An aerial view of the Avon River corridor regeneration area.Instead, it has announced it plans to make water quality and public access to the natural environment priorities in its development of a plan for the future of the red zoned land.

It is developing a refined short-list of land use options for the area that include a mix of naturally-occurring and new activities.  At the centre will be 11 kilometres of public walking and biking tracks from the city to New Brighton, within a ‘Green Spine’ up to 150 metres wide on each side of the river.

It will feature large areas of ecological restoration, wetlands, community spaces such as barbeque areas and coffee stops, and will support access to the river.

“The Green Spine will have a natural trail on one side of the river and a paved path on the other side, with a  boardwalk in parts," says Regenerate Christchurch Chief Executive Ivan Iafeta.

“Outside the Green Spine are three significant areas suitable for a variety of potential public and private land uses. The potential uses of each respective area reflect themes of Food and Culture, Experiencing Nature, and Activity and Play.

“These areas and the Green Spine will create opportunities for school children and researchers to learn about the natural environment, to better understand the challenges and opportunities within a truly living laboratory. Ecological, food, cultural and recreational experiences, and sustainable agriculture and adaptable housing will be part of a unique urban environment," Mr Iafeta says.

A 31-hectare wetland area beside Horseshoe Lake will treat stormwater run-off from as many as 10,000 properties and improve water quality in both the lake and the river. A further 49 hectares of wetlands elsewhere in the corridor will treat stormwater run-off from a further 15,000 properties.

More information about the refined shortlist of potential land uses will be released for public comment as part of a wider engagement programme that will begin with a public exhibition. Details of when that exhibition will be held will be released shortly.

“In deciding the land uses for the refined shortlist we have determined that three potential uses previously considered will not be progressed any further. They are large-scale housing, a land-swap to enable the establishment of a golf course within the corridor area and a flatwater facility," Mr Iafeta says.

Regenerate Christchurch was required to assess the feasibility of constructing an open water course suitable for international events. It looked at three options:

  • a 1.1 kilometre out-of-river flatwater facility;
  • a 2.2 kilometre in-river flatwater facility; and
  • a 2.2 kilometre out-of-river flatwater facility.

Mr Iafeta says extensive expert analysis determined that an in-river option would be subject to frequent algal blooms, and an out-of-river flatwater option would prevent the provision of stormwater treatment that would significantly improve the water quality in Horseshoe Lake.

“In addition, expert analysis found that keeping a 2.2-kilometre out-of-river flatwater facility free of algal bloom would require 43 million litres of water to be extracted from Christchurch’s deep-water aquifers every day. That is about a third of the average amount currently used in the city every day for drinking water."

Find out more about Regenerate Christchurch.