20 Nov 2012

Govt will force CBD landowners to sell

9:57 pm on 20 November 2012

The Government team tasked with creating Christchurch's new central business district says it is not prepared to let lengthy negotiations with property owners slow down the rebuild.

In July the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), which is responsible for redesigning the central business district, revealed in July it wants more than 1000 parcels of privately owned land to make way for its plans.

More than 100 property owners have received letters this week outlining plans to acquire their land to allow a new bus interchange and green frame to be built on the east of the city.

CCDU chief executive Warwick Isaacs says the landowners have been notified that the Government will compulsorily acquire their land if they aren't prepared to sell.

He says the letters recommend owners seek legal advice.

Mr Isaacs says the CCDU is on track to having the land for the blueprint's key projects settled before Christmas.

None of the property owners have agreed to sell yet.

Process unfair - property owner

Richard Peebles, who owns several of the properties, says the process for land acquisition is unfair.

Mr Peebles says he has not been given any indication yet as to how much the Government will offer for his properties.

He is not holding out a lot of hope.

"It's really awful because you are sitting on property that you can't actually do anything with ... You don't have any choice in the matter, they talk about negotiation etc ... but you either accept the offer they make or you go to court. It's not a great position to be in."