13 Sep 2011

North Canterbury town could double in size

6:56 pm on 13 September 2011

A small North Canterbury town could double in size as if a new housing and shopping centre development goes to plan.

The first of up to 600 new sections go on sale at Amberley, north of Christchurch, over the next few weeks.

At last census in 2006, Amberley had a population of 1302, which could dramatically increase as the development proceeds.

There are several developments in the area, but the largest involves building up to 600 new sections and a shopping mall to house more than 20 retail stores.

Project manager Peter McClelland says he has been planning the development for the past six years, but says those plans have accelerated now that so many quake-affected residents in Christchurch and Kaiapoi are looking for new homes.

Hurunui District Councillor Gary Cooper says the council has been working to get the infrastructure ready, and to rezone the area.

He says the new development will provide employment for the area, and a growing population will be a boost to the local economy.

Hurunui District Council has been working to extend the town's sewage and stormwater infrastructure.

It says the development will be a great boost for the area both in terms of employment and growth.