Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) says it
understands the Government's decision to facilitate the rezoning of
some new land for housing in one area of Kaiapoi, in the wake of
the devastating earthquakes.
CIAL Chief Executive Jim Boult says the decision is not ideal
for the airport because it opens up new areas of land for housing
under the 50 dBA noise contour, but at the same time it reinforces
the 50 dBA noise contour as the limit for residential development
across the rest of greater Christchurch.
"We understand the situation in Kaiapoi is unique and this is
the only way for Kaiapoi to rebuild. Unlike other parts of
Christchurch there is no other land available at Kaiapoi to replace
the loss of the Red Zone. Importantly for the airport, the
decision reinforces the importance of the health and economic
factors that make the air noise boundaries a vital part of
Canterbury's future development and regional planning," he
Mr Boult says the airport company was clearly concerned any
decision to ease development limitations inside the noise contours
would impact on its future operations, by exposing it to a risk of
complaints about noise in future.
"It is well known that we have been fighting against just such
an outcome through the Environment Court, which we have always seen
as the appropriate forum for a decision on land use within
"However, Court processes are very lengthy and we appreciate the
extraordinary circumstances that have led to this decision.
"We are pleased the Minister has confirmed this will be a one-off
situation to allow new development in the 50 dBA contour.
"All parties have made it clear to us they consider this an
exceptional situation. They recognise there is land available
within Christchurch and Selwyn areas, outside the noise contours,
for new residential development. This means that land can be
developed over the next 30 - 50 years without compromising the
airport's ability to operate 24/7."
Jim Boult says CIAL will now look at amending its appeal against
parts of the Regional Policy Statement relating to development at
Kaiapoi to align with the Minister's direction.