POLL: NBR readers verdict on land use policy

A majority of NBR ONLINE readers think it should be easier to subdivide land and that city boundaries should be extended to make housing more affordable.

In a poll conducted on the NBR website last week, readers were asked: If more land is made available to ease house pricing, what form should the policy take?

Nineteen percent said there should be infill strategies, including making it easier and cheaper to subdivide, and 23% said city boundaries should be extended.

However, 59% believe any policy should include a mix of both.

The issue was sparked by a recent comment by Finance Minister Bill English, in which he called house pricing "ridiculous".

That prompted Housing Minister Phil Heatley to call for city boundaries to be extended and for it to be easier to intensify housing.

Denser housing development in central Christchurch was also a feature of the government's recent recovery blueprint.

"It's expected new urban living apartments will be developed ... and is likely to enhance the economic value of the area," Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said. 

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Surely this result could not be surprising?

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Obviously everyone except the council planners can see this, but will they take action and more importantly will they allow alot higher densities to meet demand. The reality is all the residential land needs higher densities so that enough gets developed as most people won't want to subdivide their own properties.

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Nothings going to change because the planners will have to ponder the matter for a few years and then in the spirit of engaging the community a series of workshops and lets not forget the consultants that will need to be involved analysing organising and reporting, then the plan change process alone will run another further 2-3 years with finally commissioners hearings and then the same earlier planners sitting that decision on a desk for 6 months getting it typed.....

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