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Last modified: 19 Nov 2021 5:22pm

Builders building a partially completed house with snowy mountains visible in the background

Selwyn District Council has expressed concern over the broad approach of the Government’s new housing intensification rules, and the speed at which they are being introduced.

The Council supports more housing for the growing population, but has raised concerns about the approach in its submission made yesterday on the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and other matters) Amendment Bill.

The Bill, currently before select committee and out for consultation until end of yesterday, would allow three homes of up to three storeys high to be built without a resource consent on most residential areas in New Zealand largest urban areas, including Selwyn district, from August 2022.

The Bill is particularly relevant to Selwyn, which continues to be the fastest growing district in the country, both in terms of the total number of new residents and percentage growth.

The most recent Stats NZ Population Estimates (to 30 June 2021) showed Selwyn grew by 3,400 people from 2020 to 2021. This was the largest increase in the country.

“We support the Government’s aims to address New Zealand’s housing shortage and enable a wider range of housing options, including more affordable homes,” says Mayor Sam Broughton.

“However, given the significant impact this Bill has on our Council’s land use and infrastructure planning, we are frustrated that the Government only allowed a very short submission period which prevented us consulting with our community on the proposed changes and how we should respond.”

The Council’s key concerns with the Bill are:

  • No information is provided on how infrastructure supporting the new developments would be planned and funded
  • It is unclear how it impacts the Proposed Selwyn District Plan and the 18 private plan change requests currently being processed by the Council

“In our submission we have made it really clear that such a broad-brush approach to enabling housing intensification will not deliver well-balanced wellbeing outcomes for present and future generations” Mayor Broughton says.

“While the Bill might help the housing supply shortage it could equally lead to in unwelcome social and infrastructure issues,” Mayor Broughton says.

The Council’s full submission can be found on the Council website.