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Last modified: 03 Nov 2020 9:56am

Farmer in boiler suit standing next to a milking shedSelwyn is a district with a rich and diverse environment, which is also exposed to a number of natural hazards.

The Proposed Selwyn District Plan - currently out for public consultation - maps natural hazards areas across Selwyn, based on the latest data and to meet regulatory requirements.

“It’s important we know what natural hazards we face in the district, so we can make informed decisions on future property, land and infrastructure development”, says Council Planner Rachael Carruthers—part of the team that has developed the Proposed District Plan.

All councils in New Zealand are required to identify and manage areas at risk from natural hazards.

“Canterbury councils must assess the risks from more extreme weather events than those covered in the current District Plan. We also need to take into account climate change effects over the next 100 years, such as increased frequency and intensity of rainstorms”, says Rachael.

“As a result we have now identified that during a one-in-200-year flood event around 80 percent of properties in the district are at risk of flooding that would potentially be at least five centimetres deep.”

In addition to providing landowners with the information of where on their property is at risk of flooding, the Proposed Plan includes rules on how this risk should be managed.

“We’re proposing to manage flood risk with similar restrictions to what’s in the current District Plan.”

“For most properties the proposed changes won’t make much of a difference. The changes will only affect those who want to do something new on their land, such as build a new house or subdivide,” Rachael says.

The key proposed change is for the district-wide minimum building floor height to increase to 300 mm above a 200-year flood level event (instead of the current requirement of 300 mm above a 50-year flood level event).

For more information on the flooding hazard, check out the Council’s video with Robert Love, Strategy and Policy Team Leader. You can also find out how to make a submission on the Proposed District Plan on our district plan page. Submissions must be made by 5pm Friday 11 December.