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Shape of the future . . . Potential areas for future development in the Greater Christchurch area. Image: Supplied

By DAVID HILL

Rangiora and Kaiapoi could be in for further expansion as the Waimakariri district looks to accommodate a growing population.

Future development areas have been identified in Rangiora and Kaiapoi in the final draft of the Greater Christchurch Partnership’s Our Space 2018-2048document, which sets a framework for future urban development.

Areas in western and eastern Rangiora and northeast Kaiapoi have been identified for future development, providing capacity for an additional 5500 houses, or up 15,000 people.

While last year’s Census figures have yet to be released, Waimakariri’s population sits around 61,000 and is predicted to grow by at least 30,000 over the next 30 years.

The Waimakariri District Council will consider the document at its next council meeting, on Tuesday.

Strategy and engagement manager Simon Markham says putting the document together has been an “intricate process”.

“It’s something we are all grappling with and the National Policy Statement for Urban Development requires us to plan ahead.

“All three districts have had to make compromises and it’s about finding a balance between intensification and greenfields development.

“This document provides a framework for how we are going to cater to projected growth over up to 30 years and it pinpoints locations for that growth.”

Mr Markham says the Our Spacedocument provides the framework to cater for Waimakariri’s growth for at least the next 10 years.

As the document is reviewed every three years, like a Long Term Plan, it can be adapted as the population grows.

Mr Markham says, subject to ratification at Tuesday’s council meeting, the document will inform the council’s District Plan Review and the 2021/31 Long Term Plan.

Provision, he says, needs to be made in the District Plan to ensure appropriate zoning is in place and that infrastructure requirements will be met.

The overall Greater Christchurch population is predicted to grow by around 200,000, with most of the extra people expected to live in the city.

With no additional land identified in the document to expand the city boundary, higher density living such as villas, two-storey town houses and multi-level apartment buildings will be needed.

Some higher density living will also be needed in Rangiora and Kaiapoi, Mr Markham says.

But the document will also strengthen the region’s case for transport funding, he adds.

“This is part of our case for more government funding for public transport and roading.

“We all know it is needed, but they won’t commit funding until we have the planning in place.”

Commuter facts, page 4