By ROBYN BRISTOW
Concerns about Ohoka losing its small-village character has resulted in any future provision for rural residential growth in the area being taken out of the final Waimakariri District Council Rural Residential Development Strategy.
Opposition and technical advice relating to flooding and local drainage issues, and the capacity of yet-to-be-developed lots, also influenced a hearing panel, which considered 143 submissions on the draft document in March and April.
It listened to 30 submitters, who presented their views in person at the April hearing.
The plan was adopted by the council this month.
It provides the framework for future provision of land for rural residential use. These are smaller rural sections than the typical four-hectare lots seen across the district.
It also identified growth locations for rural residential development across the whole Waimakariri district to meet a projected demand of about 385 rural residential households over the next 10 years.
The proposed Ashley/Loburn growth area drew the most submissions and received the greatest support for the expansion of rural residential development.
Expanding Ohoka received the greatest opposition (by proposed growth area).
There was good support for more development at Swannanoa, with opinions evenly divided over further rural residential growth at Oxford and Gressons Road, north of Woodend.
After deliberating on submissions, the panel opted to retain the provision for growth north of Ashley and east of Loburn, removing the growth directions west of Loburn and east and west of Ashley, mainly because of landowner feedback and because the remaining growth directions are relatively free from localised flooding.
Landowner support means existing growth directions north and west of Swannanoa are retained in the final plan, avoiding versatile soils and flooding locations.
Oxford is retained in the final plan, with the existing growth directions north and southeast, as proposed in the draft, reflecting landowner support and the avoidance of flood hazards and areas identified for long-term urban growth.
Gressons Road stays in the strategy, with the existing growth direction south as per the draft, reflecting landowner support and a readiness to develop.
This area is also relatively free from flooding and avoids community severance over State Highway 1.
Adding additional growth areas in the final plan, as sought by some submitters, on the fringes of Rangiora, Woodend, Kaiapoi, Mandeville and Fernside, was avoided.
The plan will be implemented through the Waimakariri District Plan Review process.
The project webpage contains all relevant documents.