We own a large block of land in Diamond Harbour that we no longer need. Five options for the future of the land have been developed and we’d like to know which one you prefer.
We have owned the land at 27 Hunter Road and 42 Whero Avenue, Diamond Harbour, since 1913. It was set aside for the development and expansion of Diamond Harbour and has been zoned for potential residential development for at least the past 40 years.
In general, we don’t take on the risks associated with residential development, so this has not occurred.
The land includes three gullies that have been allowed to revegetate. The balance of the land is leased for grazing, but this income does not cover the costs of owning the land, with the annual loss being about $15,000.
We have plans to protect the gullies for their environmental and landscape values, but no plans for the balance of the land.
As the land had been identified as being surplus to our requirements, we took the opportunity during our Long Term Plan 2021-31 consultation process to ask the community’s view on what should be done.
We have identified a future need for increased cemetery capacity in the wider Diamond Harbour area. Investigations are under way to identify a suitable site on this land. If part of this land is required we will consult with the Diamond Harbour community.
We have been working closely with the Diamond Harbour Reserves Management Committee to enter into covenants under S77 of the Reserves Act 1977 to protect the three gullies.
These covenants are used to preserve:
The gullies that we propose protecting are:
A Sams Valley Gully
B Morgans Valley Gully
C Unnamed gully
A covenant would require a Management Plan to be prepared and will include (but not be limited to):
A Management Plan would be prepared in collaboration with the Diamond Harbour Reserves Management Committee.
Lyttelton Borough Council acquired the land in 1913 under the Lyttelton Borough Extension Act 1911(external link). This local act authorised the Council to obtain certain land outside borough boundaries to meet the needs of the population – suitable land for building on.
The original parcel was much larger and successive Councils have subdivided and sold sections to private interests for residential development, notably in 1925, 1930, 1933, 1948 and 1973. In 1969 the Crown acquired part of the land for Diamond Harbour School. There has been no subdivision or sales since 1973, although easements have been made for NIWA and Orion, and a private right of way for 2 Kura Lane.
As a result of feedback to the Long Term Plan 2021-31, the Council asked staff to undertake targeted consultation to gather more information.
The full resolution from the LTP Council meeting:
Submissions and staff responses(external link) from the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 for the sale of land in Diamond Harbour.
Place a covenant over Sams Gully, Morgans Gully and the third unnamed gully, with protections for the walkways, and dispose of the remainder of the land. (Our preferred option)
|Protects the gullies||Set-up costs of covenants and easements||Sale does not mean that the property will be developed quickly, or at all. We have held the land for more than 100 years, without seeing demand for significant development.|
|Ensures walking tracks are protected||We can still influence development direction through the Christchurch District Plan and the resource consent process.|
|Reduces costs to ratepayers||Anyone wishing to subdivide this land would need to apply for a subdivision consent. Whether there would be public consultation would depend on the subdivision design. A subdivision that complied with zoning rules in the district plan would probably not need to be notified.|
|Generates a capital return that can be used to meet other community needs||Development contributions help fund any consequential upgrades to transport and three-waters infrastructure|
In the short term, this would result in no change, with the gullies continuing to be revegetated through community partnerships and the flat land leased for grazing.
At this stage, there is no identified need for additional parkland.
|Ongoing public ownership and control||There does not appear to be evidence that additional parkland is required to meet community needs.||It is likely that the land will remain untouched for at least 10 years as we have not planned to turn this land into a park|
|Increased accessibility to grazed areas over time||Ratepayers will face ongoing holding costs, and increased development, maintenance and operational expenses||The flat areas are likely to remain leased for grazing for at least 10 years and generally will not be accessible to the community|
We could consider developing the property, in consultation with the community, either directly or with a development partner. This is likely to carry significant financial risk – the revenue gained may be less than the cost of development – and is not our core business. We are unaware of any significant demand for residential development in Diamond Harbour.
|Allows for community input into development||Development risks – We are not a land developer and there is unknown demand|
|Would provide revenue stream if economically viable|
As we don’t need the land but it is valued by the community, it could be transferred into community ownership. This could be at below market price, subject to us being able to recover the capital value of the land should the community decide to dispose of it or develop it in the future.
|Local community controls land||Community carries holdings costs||It is likely that an appropriate community entity may need to be set up to own the land|
|We don’t incur costs from holding the land||Obtaining community consensus on the future use of the land may be difficult, but not impossible|
|Revenue from sale|
|No need for covenants|
Finalise the covenant over Sams Gully, Morgans Gully and the third gully, with protections for the walkways, and continue to graze the flat land.
|Maintains status quo||Holding costs of $15,000 per annum|
|No revenue for sale|