Selwyn District Summary [PDF 164MB]

The Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy only directly affects growth in the area from Christchurch City in the east, Lake Ellesmere in the south, the Selwyn River to State Highway 1 in the west, and then along Telegraph Road to Highfield Road to State Highway 73. The boundary then follows Station Road and Intake Road to the Waimakariri River in the north. This includes the towns of Rolleston, Burnham, Lincoln, Prebbleton, Tai Tapu and rural residential settlements at West Melton, Springston, Broadfield and Ladbrooks. While the townships of Darfield, Kirwee, Leeston and Southbridge are not included in the study area, it is recognised that development will continue in these localities and that many people living in these places will travel to the Greater Christchurch area for employment, schooling, shopping and leisure and recreational activities.

Business as Usual Option

Business as Usual continues current trends of development spreading out around the Greater Christchurch area north of the Waimakariri River and southwest into Selwyn, with some housing in urban renewal developments. The larger district towns, such as Rolleston would continue to grow.

Selwyn District is currently growing very rapidly. Projections of population growth, assuming Business as Usual continues unchanged, indicate that Selwyn's population will more than double over the next 40 years from 16,410 in 2001 to about 38,460 in 2041. The number of households will increase from 5,620 in 2001 to about 14,622 in 2041. Many of these additional people and houses are likely to be in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton, and on lifestyle blocks and rural residential sub-divisions between these towns.

With most development spread out around the district, but employment still likely to remain based in Christchurch City, people will spend more time travelling from their homes to work, school and shops. Roads leading into Christchurch would become more congested, particularly State Highway 1 from Rolleston and Springs and Birches Road from Lincoln to Christchurch. Selwyn District residents would also experience congestion issues on city roads.

For people living in larger towns, such as Rolleston and Lincoln, walking and cycling to local facilities should be practical alternatives to driving. Public transport services between Christchurch, Rolleston and Lincoln should improve with high frequency regular services. People living in rural areas are unlikely to have public transport available, and neither walking nor cycling will be viable choices.

Growth in Rolleston and Lincoln will enable the development of more community facilities, such as libraries, recreation and health centres. New developments outside these larger towns will have few facilities, so residents will need to travel to existing facilities.

With growth spreading around Rolleston, Lincoln and the countryside around West Melton, Prebbleton and Tai Tapu, there will be fewer opportunities to create large open spaces and regional parks. People will need to travel further to escape the built up areas and find open space for recreation and leisure.

Impact of Business as Usual Option on Selwyn District

  • Increased development in Rolleston, Lincoln and at Prebbleton and West Melton
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads connecting with Christchurch
  • Growth enables development of community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rolleston and Lincoln, but not elsewhere
  • Loss of rural character as farmland cut up

Option A

Option A concentrates development within Christchurch and the larger towns such as Rolleston.

Around 60% of new housing would be urban renewal (primarily in Christchurch City), and 40% would be in new subdivisions. A green belt would be established to prevent urban areas of Christchurch, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Rolleston, spreading into farmland or each other.

More intense development would occur in Rolleston than at present, as re-subdivision of larger lots and redevelopment of the older sections close to the town centre. There would also be limited growth around Lincoln. Elsewhere development would be limited, to discourage further conversion of farmland and open space to lifestyle and rural-residential developments.

Concentrating development within and around existing urban areas will make some roads more congested. The growth of Rolleston will mean the roads connecting to Christchurch will need upgrading to avoid the predicted growth in congestion. If employment opportunities develop in the Rolleston industrial zone, some people may be able to walk or cycle to work as alternatives to driving their cars, or use improved public transport to travel to employment in Christchurch.

Concentrating development within Rolleston increases the potential for new residents to enhance community identity through establishing social, cultural and sporting groups. This should enable the development of community amenities such as swimming pools, libraries and schools.

By limiting growth to within and around the existing urban areas, green zones and regional parks can be created around each urban area to provide for recreational activities. Farmland can continue to be used for primary production, and outstanding natural landscapes, such as the Port Hills can be preserved.

Impact of Option A on Selwyn District

  • Increased development in Rolleston and limited development in Lincoln
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads between Rolleston and Christchurch
  • Improved community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rolleston, but not elsewhere
  • Rural character retained

Option B

Option B balances future urban development between existing towns / urban centres with some expansion into adjacent areas.

Urban centres or community villages focus around shops and community facilities, including health centres, libraries and cinemas where local residents get many of their day-to-day services, and serve as community meeting places. Rolleston and Lincoln have been identified as possible urban centres, with Prebbleton as a minor urban centre or village.

By developing self-sufficient urban centres or villages local residents could be within walking or cycling distance of their workplaces, schools, shops and other facilities. By increasing population around urban centres and villages there could be sufficient demand for improved public transport.

Development of lifestyle blocks and rural-residential sections would continue, but the focus would be on enlarging the existing towns. People living on lifestyle blocks would have few alternatives to driving to employment, schools and shops, so congestion would increase on roads throughout the area.

Locating development at Rolleston and Lincoln should strengthen community identity. Existing shopping in these towns would expand, offering greater product ranges and services in response to their local communities' needs. Community facilities such as libraries, swimming pools, health and recreation centres are also likely to be developed attracting people to live within close proximity. This influx of residents will in turn stimulate more economic and social activity at Rolleston and Lincoln.

With growth restricted to around existing towns, and within the City boundaries, green zones / regional parks between Christchurch and neighbouring district towns could be developed. As well as providing valuable space for recreation, these regional parks would enhance eco-systems and habitats for the native species that live in the Greater Christchurch area.

Impact of Option B on Selwyn District

  • Increased development in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads connecting with Christchurch
  • Improved community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton, but not elsewhere
  • Rural character retained, with some loss of farmland around urban centres

Option C

Option C disperses development out around the Greater Christchurch area away from established urban areas.

About 90% of housing development would be in new subdivisions and rural residential developments, such as in areas to the west of Christchurch around West Melton, southwest of Christchurch City from Rolleston to Lincoln and Prebbleton, south to Tai Tapu, north of the Waimakariri River, and around the Lyttelton Harbour Basin.

The rural nature of Selwyn would change as farmland was zoned for lifestyle blocks and rural-residential developments, particularly around Rolleston, Lincoln and Prebbleton. The separation between town and country would be lost as towns and new sub-divisions grew into one another.

With development spread around Selwyn District, people will spend more time travelling from their homes to work, school and shops. Many people will still work in Christchurch, so roads will become more congested as walking, cycling and using public transport are unlikely to be attractive alternatives to driving.

As development occurs, existing facilities, sports and cultural groups will be either enhanced with the arrival of new residents or replaced by new facilities and groups more in tune with new residents' lifestyles. The character of existing smaller rural communities, such as in Tai Tapu, Ladbrooks and Broadfields, will undoubtedly change. New developments would have few community facilities, such as schools, recreation centres and libraries when first developed which may encourage residents to travel to facilities in Christchurch or elsewhere preventing communities from developing their own identity.

By encouraging growth to spread outward, the opportunity to create large open spaces and regional parks is reduced. As development moves out into the countryside, productive lands currently used for market gardening and farming would be lost. Development could destroy the natural habitat essential for native plants, birds and animals living in the Greater Christchurch area.

Impact of Option C on Selwyn District

  • Increased development from Christchurch southwest to the Selwyn River and west to Kirwee including Rolleston, Lincoln and around Prebbleton, West Melton and Tai Tapu
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads throughout the district, particularly those connecting with Christchurch
  • Growth enables development of some community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rolleston and Lincoln, but not elsewhere
  • Loss of rural character as farmland cut up into lifestyle and rural-residential blocks