The Dryden Trust wished to create a quality, livable residential development with a country village feel that would tie into the aesthetic of Rolleston. This was to happen on a piece of land identified by Selwyn District Council as a Special Housing Area with the aim of bringing affordable houses to the market in the Selwyn District.
The HASHAA (Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act) had to be applied, which was a unique situation for Canterbury given existing earthquake legislation at the time. This had several implications on the various project timeframes and differed from the standard consenting process for large developments. We were required to collaborate with both in-house and external consultants to meet the complex legislative requirements and timeframes.
This project is one of the largest residential developments in New Zealand to be brought forward under HASHAA legislation. We were involved from the inception of the development, meeting with Council and the client to establish a path forward. We were able to lead with significant land development knowledge from our urban design and planning teams, which informed all aspects of the design phase. Successful collaboration with our in-house experts throughout the consenting stages of the project resulted in a smooth and straightforward process, saving the client time and cost.
It was an enjoyable challenge to lead the masterplanning process, which was effectively a plan change and subdivision and land use consent application rolled into one. While this is not common practice, it was necessary given the different legislation and the higher than permitted density requirements under the HASHAA.
Key learnings from this Special Housing Area have allowed us to hit the ground running on similar MBIE-led developments, making us experts in delivering successful and attractive developments with higher densities and complex spatial requirements.
Eliot Sinclair was not involved with the detailed design and construction of the subdivision on this occasion.