Development will start in the second part of this year on a mixed density residential development in Belfast, that will eventually accommodate between 1300 and 2000 homes (depending on the level of density). It will include shops, a commercial centre, parks, and other community amenities.
So what is so special about this development? Its location – located on land that bounds the intersection of Johns and Main North Rds, it is what I would call an almost perfect residential project for Christchurch, as it develops land along one of the major development corridors. Take a look at the image of Belfast below.
The development is roughly in the land partially bounded by Main North Rd and Johns Rd marked with the red “X” (a row of houses fronting Main North has been demolished in preparation). As can be seen, it will be located on Christchurch’s main northern approach, which is also a key public transport corridor with the inclusion of bus lanes. To the east you can see the railway running along the length of the corridor (approximate site of old station marked with a green dot), so looking forward it is in a great location for taking advantage of the development of rail services to Kaiapoi and Rangiora. Slightly further to the east is the proposed northern motorway extension, which should separate local and through traffic to some degree. Interestingly, it seems as though the development will be bounded in the west by the motorway extension that will form a bypass of Belfast, and be part of the Western corridor motorway/expressway.
Looking at this development, and how it fits into everything, you can see how concentrating development along such a corridor as this has so many benefits, such as making the best use of transport infrastructure. This is the kind of development I would like to see more of, and which the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy supports.
Furthermore, a new shopping arcade is to be developed at the old Victorian era tanneries in Woolston, offering high fashion and art retail, as well as a restaurant. It is good to see old industrial areas being redeveloped like this, and highlights the urban renewal and intensification opportunities areas like this have. The location also happens to be adjacent to the Lyttelton railway line, as seen in the image below, which has been earmarked as a rapid transit route in the draft City Plan. The site is east of Tanner St (outlined in red), the old Woolston railway station platform just to the sites south (green dot).
These are the kind of developments you want to see along these corridors, and illustrate why those routes make sense as part of a rapid transit network. Other locations of interest which lie alongside existing railway lines include; the redevelopment of Lyttelton as part of its suburban master plan and the proposed waterfront development, residential development in the Heathcote Valley on the old Malt works site (adjacent to the Lyttelton Line), intensification in Addington, continued development in Hornby, and the Wigram skies development near Sockburn.