Our proposed Heritage Plan Change (PC13)

Population growth, housing issues – including housing affordability – and climate change are prompting a re-think of some of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s planning rules.

Project status: Closed
Consultation open: 17 March 2023 to 12 May 2023

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Consultation has now closed

Consultation on Plan Change 13 has now closed. People were able to provide feedback from Friday 17 March to Friday 12 May.

Further submissions(external link) are now invited on the Plan Changes 13 (Heritage) and 14 (Housing and Business choice).

Please refer to the Plan Change 13 page(external link) for the latest updates.

We’re proposing changes to our District Plan to provide for our continued growth and prosperity. 

  • Housing and Business Choice Plan Change (PC14)(external link) – to bring our District Plan in line with government direction that has been given via the National Policy Statement-Urban Development (NPS-UD) and the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act (The Act) to enable more development in the city’s existing urban footprint.
  • Heritage Plan Change (PC13)(external link) – Eleven new residential heritage areas across the city are identified for protection in the District Plan to recognise Ōtautahi Christchurch’s special identity and we’re adding around 60 buildings, items and building interiors to the Schedule of Significant Historic Heritage.

Early public feedback on draft changes in April last year helped us shape the notified plan changes outlined. We welcome your submissions on these proposed plan changes. This will help us implement the changes needed to bring our District Plan in line with government direction. 

To find out what this means for your property, use our interactive map(external link). 

You can download the full consultation document [PDF, 4.1 MB] or read the information below before making a submission at the bottom of this page.

Our growth challenge 

Our population is growing. Over the next 30 years, it’s predicted we’ll need more than 40,000 new houses in Ōtautahi Christchurch to ensure everyone has a place to live. 

This means re-thinking some of our planning rules to allow more housing choice and provide greater opportunities for business development. 

We need to provide for the growth of housing and commercial centres in the best locations, to help address issues such as climate change and housing affordability. This means more houses close to our growing commercial centres, where there’s good access to services, public transport networks and infrastructure. Living within easy reach of work, school and shops makes getting around easier and helps reduce transport emissions.  

However, we also need to ensure development remains restricted in areas where there’s good reason, or limited where we need to protect and maintain areas of value. 

Residential Heritage Areas

We’re proposing that 11 new Residential Heritage Areas (RHA) across the city be protected in the District Plan to recognise Ōtautahi Christchurch’s special identity. 

RHAs are neighbourhood areas with buildings and features that are collectively (rather than individually) significant to the city’s heritage and identity, that we want to retain. They have a coherent history which tells us a story about the residential development of Ōtautahi Christchurch. 

The proposed RHAs, which are proposed to become Qualifying Matters under the Housing and Business Choice Plan Change (PC14), are in the following 11 areas: 

  • Inner City West
  • Chester Street East/Dawson Street (Inner City)
  • Englefield Avonville (Inner City East)
  • Piko/Shand (Riccarton Block State Housing)
  • Heaton Street (Merivale)
  • Church Property Trustees North St Albans subdivision (St Albans)
  • Wayside Avenue ‘Parade of Homes’ (Burnside)
  • RNZAF Station Wigram Staff Housing (Wigram)
  • Macmillan Avenue (Cashmere)
  • Shelley/Forbes streets (Sydenham)
  • Lyttelton

The areas themselves, and rules we’re proposing for these areas, are new to the District Plan. Our proposal also includes introducing a buffer for Residential Heritage Areas, with a high-density border to better protect their edges. 

We’re proposing that, within the identified RHAs, a resource consent would be needed for new buildings, additions or alterations to buildings, new fences and walls higher than 1.5 metres, and to demolish or relocate those buildings considered most significant (called “defining” or “contributory” buildings). We’ll assess all development proposals on how they affect the heritage values of the area. 

We assessed many other areas of Christchurch against the criteria used for identification as an RHA that did not meet the required threshold. In most cases this was because they were not sufficiently intact, for example, there was too much compromise to the historic heritage values of the area because of demolition, housing modification or new development.  

Note that the Lyttelton RHA has been reduced in extent since the boundaries suggested last year, to remove some more recently developed areas. 

You can view maps(external link) with the specific boundaries for each of these RHAs. 

What if you live in both a Heritage and a Character Area?

If you intend to make changes to your property and it is in both a Residential Character Area and a Residential Heritage Area, and need resource consent for both these matters, you only need to make one resource consent application. 

Other proposed heritage rule changes

As well as introducing RHAs, we’re proposing some additional changes to the Heritage chapter in the District Plan. Both RHAs and the additional heritage buildings or items in the first bullet point below are Qualifying Matters under PC14, as well as being included in the package of PC13 changes. Some other heritage changes are outside the scope of PC14.   

PC13 changes include: 

  • Adding 44 heritage buildings or  items and 26 building interiors to the District Plan’s Schedule of Significant Historic Heritage for protection. These new heritage buildings and items include five buildings near the city centre, some private buildings, Council-owned halls, bridges and cemeteries, and 25 baches at Taylors Mistake.  

This includes the addition of some new features following early feedback on our Draft Heritage Plan Change. Additions include Carlton Mill Bridge and Hereford Street Bridge, 16 Papanui War Memorial Avenues (trees and plaques), the Tuberculosis hut on the site of the former Cashmere Sanatorium and the caretaker’s cottage at Woodham Park. 

  • Correcting and updating mapping and details on the heritage schedule for several heritage buildings/items to accurately show the extent of the area subject to protection. These corrections and updates are being applied for a variety of reasons including to reflect changes to buildings or changes due to the subdivision of the property since it was scheduled. 
  • Wording changes to some heritage policies and several changes to heritage rules with strengthening of some rules. The aim is to simplify and clarify provisions, to improve workability for users of the District Plan and the Council, and to improve heritage outcomes. 

If you live in or own a building that we’re proposing be protected by the District Plan Heritage Schedule, you can make some changes, such as minor repairs and maintenance, without a resource consent. 

However, a resource consent is needed for more significant changes, such as building alterations, relocation, or demolition, and for new buildings in heritage settings. We carefully assess all proposals for development or changes on how they would affect the heritage values of the heritage place. 

Find out what this means for your property

Check out our interactive map(external link) to find out what the proposed changes mean for your property. You can enter an address to find out what zone the property is in, and what development is allowed in that zone.

Next steps for our plan changes 

The public now has an opportunity to make a submission on the proposed intensification and heritage rules in our plan changes, noting that Christchurch City Council must implement MDRS and greater intensification. Following public consultation there will be hearings when submitters can speak to an Independent Hearings Panel – expected to take place in late 2023.  

Proposed controls relating to intensification won’t come into effect until the final recommendation from the Hearings Panel are agreed to by the Council or determined by the Minister for the Environment. This aspect needs to be completed within a fixed timeframe, anticipated to be March/April 2024. All heritage-related controls have immediate legal effect upon notification of the plan change on 17 March 2023.  

Decision-making process 

  1. 17 March to 12 May 2023 – notification period for public submissions 
  2. Around June–July 2023 – submissions on the notified plan changes are published and further submissions on plan changes opened  
  3. Around October–November 2023 – Independent Hearings Panel conduct hearings (The Council can choose to conduct optional pre-hearing mediation) 
  4. Hearings Panel provides the Council with recommendations 

Please note:

  • Heritage provisions have immediate legal effect, although they are not final until after submissions are heard and the Council makes its decision.
  • The Council’s decision on the Hearing Panel’s recommendations can be appealed to the Environment Court.
  • The Minister has no role in deciding on Hearings Panel recommendations rejected by the Council.
  • The final date of when plan change must be completed is subject to the Minister for the Environment's approval.


Friend of submitters

If you have trouble making a submission, we have a Friend of Submitters service available to help. To access this fully independent service, please email Jane West - CHCHPC13-14@jwest.co.nz or call (03) 324-3324.


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