A recent survey involving over 3000 participants, including 92 Central City businesses, 1068 Central City residents, and 2239 residents from the wider Christchurch area, has revealed a strong desire among residents for a thriving nightlife and night-time economy in Christchurch. The survey, conducted by the Christchurch City Council throughout September, aimed to gather opinions on noise levels in the central city to address the growing tensions as the area continues to develop and evolve.
The survey responses would potentially lead to modifications in Christchurch’s District Plan, which governs land use and development in the city. The respondents were asked about various aspects of the central city noise environment, including the expected noise levels, designated entertainment areas, and acoustic insulation.
Bruce Rendall, the head of city growth and property at the Christchurch City Council, stated that the survey results clearly indicated that any changes to the District Plan must facilitate a vibrant night-time economy for the city. He further noted that respondents understood that living in the central city often comes with higher noise levels compared to suburban living, and they did not want the growth of the residential population to compromise the city’s night-time economy.
The survey respondents suggested that changing noise precincts or zones was the preferred District Plan modification, followed by increasing noise limits to support the night-time economy and finally adjusting acoustic insulation requirements.
Rendall emphasised the need to strike a balance between maintaining a content inner-city residential population and supporting thriving businesses and nightlife. He explained that these survey results provide valuable insights into the community’s expectations for living and visiting the central city at night and will guide the council in providing necessary support to residents and businesses while implementing long-term changes.
The Christchurch City Council staff are currently working on a review of the District Plan’s management of different activities in the central city, including entertainment precincts, noise limits, and insulation requirements. A District Plan change is anticipated to be ready for public consultation by 2025.
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