Following the adoption of the Belfast Area Plan in June 2010, Council staff started preparing an Implementation Plan. The earthquake in February 2011 affected Council’s work programme and delayed the preparation of an Implementation Plan for Belfast.
It is expected that the Implementation Plan will be finalised in April 2012, providing a detailed programme of actions for the next three years to work towards achieving the objectives of the Area Plan. The Implementation Plan will ensure the co-ordinated delivery of infrastructure and services in the area, in liaison with external agencies.
Roads of National Significance
Two of the three Roads of National Significance being built in Canterbury will go through the Belfast area, as identified in the Area Plan.
A new four-lane Northern Arterial and four-laning of QEII Drive between Main North Road and Innes Road is proposed to improve access to the Port, the CBD and enable further development of the Belfast area. In terms of the next stages, a detailed design will be produced, which will go through the usual planning processes. Due to the earthquakes, the timing of when this project will be constructed will not be confirmed until wider Christchurch transport priorities have determined.
The second project through the Belfast area is the Western Corridor. A final alignment has now been confirmed for the Western Belfast Bypass, the northern section of the Western Corridor, which will improve the reliability of travel times by reducing traffic levels on Johns Road and Main North Road through Belfast. This will make cycling and walking more attractive in Belfast and improve the reliability of public transport on Main North Road. Construction of the Western Belfast Bypass is expected to start in 2013/14.
Chapter 12A (Development of Greater Christchurch) of the Regional Policy Statement
The Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) provides a strategic direction for the long-term growth of Christchurch City. The UDS has been given statutory effect through Chapter 12A to the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement, which came into force on the 17th October 2011. Chapter 12A sets urban limits for the metropolitan area of Christchurch City, as well as outlining the areas to accommodate future residential and business growth. This includes areas within the Belfast area, which are at different stages in the planning process as summarised below.
District Plan Changes in the Belfast area
PC 43 Belfast Park
This is a private Plan Change to rezone about 64 hectares of land from Rural 3 to Living G (East Belfast), providing for mixed-density residential development along with small areas of commercial and industrial land. The Plan Change was made Operative on the 12 March 2012 and now forms part of the City Plan.
Belfast Section 293 Appeals
The rezoning known as the Belfast Section 293 has been before the Environment Court. This relates to 93 hectares of land adjacent to the northern side of Johns Road and the western side of Main North Road. It is bounded to the east by the Groynes recreation area. The rezoning will enable a comprehensive residential development in accordance with an Outline Development Plan to provide for approximately 1300 mixed density houses, a small convenience retail area, local parks, pedestrian and cycle facilities and a bus route.
The Court’s decision on the rezoning of this land will be considered by Council before being made Operative.
PC 22 Styx Centre
This is a private Plan Change to rezone about 9 hectares of land from Rural 3 to Business 2 on the corner of Main North Road (SH74) and Radcliffe Road. The rezoning is intended to allow for the establishment of a District Centre and will provide for about 37,000m² of retail floor space, as well as other commercial and community facilities floor space.
Council’s decision to approve the Plan Change with modifications has been appealed to the Environment Court. The Belfast Area Plan recognises the scale of the commercial centre as provided by the Council decision, but notes that if necessary this will be amended to reflect the outcome of the appeal.