Govt steps in over land development near airport

7:09 am on 7 October 2011

The Government has used its special powers to overrule a restriction on land development near Christchurch Airport.

The move on Thursday will allow for about 1300 sections to be developed near Kaiapoi where 860 houses have to be demolished due to earthquake damage.

A 50-decibel noise contour was put in place by the Christchurch International Airport to stop the development of land where complaints about overhead noise could arise.

However Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has made a one-off exemption to noise contours around the airport.

He says this is the first significant use of powers under the Canterbury Recovery Act.

A spokesperson for Christchurch Airport says the move is not ideal, as it exposes the airport to the risk of future noise complaints.

Mr Brownlee says anyone who purchases the land will know about the noise issue and can't protest about it at a later date.

Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers says the Government's decision to overrule is crucial to easing the huge demand for land in Kaiapoi.