Topic: City favours retention of Rolleston planners

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City favours retention of Rolleston Planners - The Rolleston planning team should be retained by the government and given enough financial support so that it can work towards planned expansion of Christchurch, The Christchurch City Council decided last evening. Source The Press, Tuesday, December 16, 1975

The decision is similar to one made by the Canterbury Regional Planning Authority last week. It came after almost two hours of debate.

Cr N. G. Hattaway suggested it as a compromise to a motion by Sir Robert Macfarlane that the Rolleston scheme should not be stopped. Sir Robert was willing to accept the compromise, but he balked at a suggestion by Cr P. D. Dunbar that a special planning team not associated with the new town plan be sought. Cr Dunbar said the Rolleston planning group might have prejudged the situation. It could keep coming back to Rolleston no matter what alternatives were suggested. But Sir Robert swayed the council with final arguments in favour of pushing ahead with expert advice. He said that the idea of trying to persuade people and industries to move to other South Island centres when they preferred Christchurch, was ridiculous.
Instead, the city should be looking for a way to hold unplanned expansion in check, while strengthening the greater Christchurch area and Canterbury at the same time.

Bottle Lake:

The Mayor (Mr H. G.' Hay) suggested that parts of the Bottle Lake plantation, partly owned by the council, might be suitable for housing and might provide a pressure valve to urban sprawl. Some people thought that the land, north of Christchurch, could house up to 30,000 people. But the Deputy Mayor (Cr P. J. R. Skellerup) strongly criticised the suggestion. Bottle Lakee was justj swampland, he said. "If you remove the trees, the land will go back to swamp."

He understood that some private developers were "very keen" to use the Bottle Lake area, and the Waimairi County Council "would be rubbing their hands with glee" at the thought of extra rating revenue that would come from big housing developments in their area.Cr Skellerup disputed Mr Hay's remark that Waimairi County might be willing to "do a deal" and swap Bottle Lake land for residential areas adjacent to present city boundaries, such as Fendalton. The Bottle Lake idea "was drawn out like a rabbit from hat," and would not last for long, said Cr D. F. Caygill.

Sewerage problems:

Cr M. R. Carter said the Rolleston scheme was sadly deficient in sewage-disposal plans. Any further study would require "an intelligent look at sewage and storm water disposal." But other councillors argued that sewage disposal would be just as much a  problem north of Christchurch or in the city if a solution to growth were not found. "These are massive problems. and they will not go away." said Cr Caygill.  Cr J. F. Burn said that something could be done within the city itself to accommodate more people in better-planned neighbourhoods.

'Free services':

A new town or community development anywhere near Christchurch, but not actually within the city, would be unfair to local ratepayers. People living close would regard Christchurch as 'their own and use its services, but they would not be paying for them. "This whole debate shows how badly informed we all are on the proper expansion of Christchurch," Cr Dunbar said.

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City favours retention of Rolleston planners by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License