James' Amateur City Planner Half Hour

, posted: 2-Sep-2008 15:53

So, as you will no doubt be aware from my previous rants on the subject.  Wigram is getting planned out of existance so the land can be turned into housing.  According to the developers, and the council, there is and never has been a future for aviation at Wigram.  I take issue with that particular notion.

A relatively recent development idea has taken hold around the world, that of the "Residential Air Park", little old back water New Zeal'd isn't left out of the loop on this either, Air Parks are springing up all over up north, down here in the south a residential aviation development at Pukaki sold out like hot cakes.

Don't just take my word for it, here's an article from the NZ Herald or how about a search on trademe, or Google the 103,000 results

Accordingly, here is my attempt at righting the wrongs of the Christchurch City Council planning department with regard to Wigram, the red bit is what the Council wants to be residential immediately, including all the hangars and control tower and most of the taxiway, I propose this is recinded and instead propose the other areas in my freehand not to scale planning.

Proposed Plan for Wigram Air Park

Some items to note here...

First is the untimely demise of the grass runway, in order to maximise the compromise between airfield and property development, it is an unfortunate but necessary cut, however, the sealed runway (which is pretty much physically indestructable!) remains.

Note the extremely large amount of space available for residential developements, it doesn't look much because the roads I've freehanded in are not in anyway to scale, but if you measure it out you will see the very (VERY) large amoutn of land allocated to housing. 

The residential areas closest to the runway are for residential aviation, these would be larger sections on which a house and hangar can be constructed, each one accessible to a taxiway.  This is the fashion in most airparks.

The taxi ways where possible make use of existing taxi ways.

The yellowish areas are for business and hangars.  The smaller area inside the red area is the existing hangars and control tower facility, the usage for these could remain as is, or be progressively moved to perhaps engineering facilities, with the control tower forming offices for airfield operations and perhaps a tenants social club.

While the large areas along Hayton road could service both general business interests (particularly where fronting & wigram hayton roads) or for general aviation hangarage.

Note that the runway is no more obstructed than it is now, and that there is ample set back, with residential areas set further back than the business areas.

The area between Wigram Road and the runway (ie lower right) would be "stage 1", providing for the developers to both get thier hands in early with regard developing residential sections, and also would allow the remainder of the airfield to be undisturbed for several more years (one would expect).  There is already a residential subdivision on the other side of Wigram road (the J shaped road, bottom right) so developing this side of the airfield first seems a natural progression.

Such a development would be a very desirable place for aviatiors to live, aviators who tend to have money to spend on such things.  A place to retire to with your plane, right in the city and close to all the services you need.

Some more reading:

Other related posts:
So long old friend.
"Sky High" At Wigram
CEO of NZ Flying School (Wigram) standing for Electorate

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James Sleeman
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