The Christchurch City Council’s vacant land register documents the amount of vacant residential land potentially available for future development.

Residential vacant land refers to land parcels in the city zoned for residential purposes, with capacity for further housing development, dependent on the land owner's intentions.

Topic

Status

Key findings

Residential vacant land Increasing trendIncreasingTrend At the end of June 2018, there were almost 2,400 hectares of residential vacant land recorded in Christchurch. Further information.
Type of vacant land InformationInformation The majority of the city's residential vacant land is undeveloped land, at 1800 hectares in 2018. Further information.
Location of vacant land InformationInformation

For the year ending 30 June 2018, around 11% of the city's residential vacant land was located in the Hendersons Basin area unit, the highest of all area units at 259 hectares. Further information.

National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity InformationInformation

Greater Christchurch is one of 13 high growth areas required to implement the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016(external link) (NPS-UDC) to ensure there is sufficient land supply for future development. Further information.

Total residential vacant land

At the end of June 2018, there were 2389 hectares of residential vacant land recorded in Christchurch. This was the highest in the time series dating back to 2005.

The largest increase in residential vacant land occurred between 2011 and 2012, when the amount increased by 43%. This was the result of high priority greenfield land being urgently rezoned for residential purposes, to help alleviate the city's housing shortage.

Note the residential red zone is excluded from residential vacant land figures.

Type of residential vacant land

In 2018, three quarters of residential vacant land (1810 hectares) was classed as undeveloped land, which is typically of a rural nature and larger than one hectare in size. Undeveloped land is unlikely to be connected to Council infrastructure, such as water supply or waste water.

Smaller lots of vacant land which are likely to be serviced (i.e. connected to infrastructure) accounted for 19% of the city's residential vacant land. 371 hectares had gone through the subdivision process, while 78 hectares was awaiting redevelopment. Redeveloped land is vacant but serviced, meaning the land had previously contained one or more buildings, which have since been demolished.

Around 5% of residential vacant land is classed as having potential for residential development (land parcels between 0.4 and 1 hectare in size which could be subdivided at the owner's discretion).

Location of residential vacant land

Over one quarter of residential vacant land was located in the south west part of the city in the year ending June 2018, at 623 hectares.

The north east part of the city had the next highest amount of residential vacant land at 391 hectares. This part of the city had the highest amount of residential vacant land in 2016, although rapid housing development resulted in the amount of undeveloped land halving between 2016 and 2017.

For the year ending 30 June 2018, around 11% of the city's residential vacant land was located in the Hendersons Basin area unit, the highest of all area units at 259 hectares.

This was followed by Marshland (7%), Belfast (7%), Halswell West (6%) and Sawyers Arms (6%).

Instructions for using the dashboard below

National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016 (NPS-UDC)

The NPS-UDC(external link) directs local authorities to provide sufficient development capacity in their resource management plans, supported by infrastructure, to meet demand for housing and business space.

Development capacity refers to the amount of development allowed by zoning and regulations in plans that is supported by infrastructure. This development can be outwards (on greenfield sites) and/or upwards (by intensifying existing urban environments).

Sufficient development capacity is necessary for urban land and development markets to function efficiently to meet community needs.  In well-functioning markets the supply of land, housing and business space matches demand at efficient (more affordable) prices.

It provides direction on:

  • outcomes that urban planning decisions should achieve
  • evidence underpinning those decisions
  • responsive planning approaches
  • coordination between local authorities and providers of infrastructure.

The Christchurch City Council is currently working with MBIE(external link) to conduct an assessment of the development capacity and feasibility of the residential, commercial and industrial land within Greater Christchurch. 

The Christchurch NPS-UDC has a number of key stakeholders from within the Greater Christchurch area. The Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury (ECAN), Waimakariri District Council and Selwyn District Council are actively involved in the implementation of the NPS-UDC. The NPS-UDC is also closely aligned with the Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS).   

For further information on the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, visit the Ministry for the Environment Website(external link).  

 

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

Liability statement

Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contain no errors. The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.