26 Sep 2015

New Brighton key focus for rebuild agency

9:28 am on 26 September 2015

The seaside suburb of New Brighton will be a key focus for the new agency set up to over-see the Christchurch rebuild, but some say there is no point when the suburb is battling against coastal hazard zoning decisions.

New Brighton Beach

New Brighton Beach Photo: Supplied

The agency announced this week 'Regenerate Christchurch' will come into effect in April next year when the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act expires.

Jointly owned and funded by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council it will oversee long-term development throughout the city.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said the agency would place a key focus on New Brighton.

"I think its location in terms of the red-zone makes it critical that Regenerate Christchurch looks at what can be done to draw people to the area."

"I have sat through plenty of revitalisation plans for New Brighton and although the intention was there, this new agency provides a model that will deliver," Ms Dalziel said.

Christchurch Coastal Residents United chairman Mark Munroe said although Regenerate Christchurch was good news for New Brighton, it did nothing to mitigate concerns about the Coastal Hazard Plan.

On the basis of a report by environment and engineering firm Tonkin and Taylor, more than 18,000 properties throughout the city have been identified as being in coastal erosion and coastal inundation zones.

These properties now have this vulnerability stated on their Land Information Memorandums.

Affected residents have concerns that if the Coastal Hazard Plan goes ahead property values will be affected and homes will be left uninsurable.

"On one hand it is great the council is going to commit to an area which needs some money, but on the other hand they want to stop people developing their properties because of coastal hazards," said Mr Munroe.

"I have been told by the council that unless I rebuild on my $500,000 section within two years, I won't be able to build on it at all."

The Coastal Hazards Plan and Regenerate Christchurch sounded like they would work against each other, he said.

"They need to think about how it is going to work encouraging investment in New Brighton, when at the same time residents living there might not be able to build or develop on their properties."

Rebuild Christchurch's Deon Swiggs said a lot of work needed to be done on the Coastal Hazard Plan.

"There have been a lot of submissions from the community to the council about the report, so I hope in some way the plan and Regenerate Christchurch can somehow work together to make sure the suburb doesn't die away."

"If you get the right people who are motivated about getting things done in New Brighton it has potential, it is a great area," Mr Swiggs said.

Residents have until October 16 to make submissions to the Christchurch City Council on the Coastal Hazard Plan.

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