Govt picks up land for quake 'anchor project'

7:00 pm on 30 November 2012

The government agency in charge of developing central Christchurch is defending the slow progress of land purchases.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) today announced it has signed its first land deals since letters were sent to land owners nearly four months ago.

So far just three properties have been purchased out of a total of 761 to be used to develop "anchor projects" such as a convention centre and a covered stadium.

CCDU chief executive Warwick Isaacs says though the Government has the power to compulsorily purchase land, it hasn't yet had to do so.

Mr Isaacs says there have been some robust discussions with property owners but he believes many are now more realistic about the amount of money they expect to get for their properties.

Mr Isaacs says he expects to have another 70 deals signed before Christmas and all properties purchased by the end of next year.

Many property owners are have been unhappy at the amount of money being offered, which is based on current market valuation.