27 Mar 2012

Fears new testing rules may delay subdivisions

9:19 pm on 27 March 2012

A company behind a major Canterbury subdivision says new rules for ground testing may stop the development of further subdivisions in the region.

More than 6000 properties in Canterbury have been deemed uninhabitable due to earthquake damage, with many people looking to move to new subdivisions.

Pegasus township in North Canterbury is testing its 1200 sections for potential seismic hazard following a request from the Waimakariri District Council.

The project's managing director says many councils in Canterbury now require such testing, which will add substantial costs to any new subdivisions.

Bob Robertson says he believes that will stop many developments being talked about.

He says it took months to find a company to do the testing and cost Pegasus $500,000.

However, another Canterbury property developer says he welcomes the tougher land testing on new subdivisions, despite the added costs and delays they bring to projects.

Fred Rahme from Silverstream Subdivision says the extra tests give all involved in the developments reassurance about the quality of the land.

He says buyers want the information, as do their banks and insurers.

Mr Rahme says developers should make sure they are confident the project can last a life-time, and not just take the attitude that they have sold the land and it is no longer their problem.