The Land Use Recovery Plan ("LURP") was approved by the Minister for Earthquake Recovery and gazetted on 6 December 2013. It became operative on that date. The LURP provides direction for residential and business land use development to support recovery and rebuilding across metropolitan greater Christchurch in the next 10 to 15 years.
The LURP is a statutory document made operative by the Minister under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. At the Minister's direction, Environment Canterbury prepared the draft LURP and publicly notified it for submissions. Following the close of the submission period, the Minister had the power to make any changes to the draft LURP as he sought fit, or to withdraw it. The LURP directs the Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils and Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) to make specific changes to district plans, the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement and other instruments immediately, as well as providing policy direction for amendments be developed by the local authorities and introduced into their respective plans within specified timeframes.
Following 6 December 2013, all decisions on resource consents or notices of requirement, or changes to planning documents under the RMA must not be inconsistent with the LURP. The requirement not to be inconsistent with the LURP also applies to other instruments under the Local Government Act 2002, including annual plans, long-term plans and triennial agreements, regional land transport strategies and programmes under the Land Transport Management Act 2003 and various conservation policies and strategies.
The LURP seeks to provide the delivery mechanisms necessary to:
- provide for a range of housing opportunities, including social and affordable housing;
- meet the land use needs of residential and business activities in existing communities and in greenfield areas to accommodate rebuilding and growth;
- support the recovery and rebuilding of central city, suburban and town centres;
- ensure that repair and development of transport networks and service infrastructure support these activities; and
- take account of natural hazards and environmental constraints that may affect rebuilding and recovery.
One of the significant amendments to the LURP is the direction to Environment Canterbury to amend its Regional Policy Statement to include a new Chapter 6 titled "Recovery and rebuilding of Greater Christchurch". This chapter implements an urban limit in the Canterbury region and identifies priority areas of greenfield growth and development. This was previously the subject of Proposed Change 1 to the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement that was the subject to multiple appeals before the Environment Court. Following the Minister's announcement regarding the LURP, on 9 December the Minister used his powers under section 27 of the Act and revoked Change 1 and put an end to that litigation.