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Tuesday June 6 2017
Call for council to own Southshore land By Sarla Donovan LOCAL CITY councillor David East wants to see ownership of red-zoned Southshore land return to the city. Clearance of 150 red zone properties bordering Southshore estuary has left the area open to erosion and flooding from storms and high tide. Coastal-ward city councillor David East told the Pegasus Post it was “untenable” to ask residents David East to wait another 18 months for Regenerate Christchurch to come up with a plan when there was no obligation for anybody to implement it. “The Government could just sit on it for years and years. There’s no guarantee they will fix it.” He thinks the quicker option is for the city council to take ownership of the land and assess the feasibility of a plan commissioned by the Southshore Residents Association. The plan, prepared pro-bono by coastal engineering firm OCEL Consultants, proposes constructing a berm to protect the area from inundation on the
TEMPORARY FIX: Southshore volunteers last year took matters into their own hands and piled rocks and concrete blocks back up along the estuary edge.
estuary side. The berm would form an elevated walk/cycle way along the Estuary shoreline, with beaches at some points providing access for kayaks and paddle boards at high tide. The estimated cost was $7.5 million, excluding a paved walkway, landscaping or beach features.
Cr East said Government was at a stage where further funding for projects in Christchurch would meet with opposition from other parts of the country. He said it didn’t seem like an “insurmountable” problem to get that sum into the city council’s budget next year. “People down there are looking for some action,” Cr East said.
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All red zone land is currently in Crown ownership and Regenerate Christchurch is leading community consultation on the red zone but Cr East said because the SSRA had already commissioned a detailed plan, it was a “slap in the face” for residents to be told they had to wait for the consultation process to finish in July next year.
Christchurch Central MP and Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner said she and Mayor Lianne Dalziel met with the regenerate board earlier this month to discuss planning for Southshore and South New Brighton. “I understand Regenerate Christchurch presented to the Southshore Residents’ Association two weeks ago on the intended approach, and emphasised the need for pace and certainty.” “All relevant information will be considered in the planning process, and the community will have the opportunity to provide input.” Cr East said the Government should sit down with the city council and assess the feasibility of the OCEL plan, rather than inflict further consultation on a community that was “sick to death” of it, It was “inevitable” that all red zone land in Christchurch would return to council ownership, he said. “It’s not a matter of if, but when.” SSRA chairman Bill Simpson said residents in the area had an immediate problem which needed to be fixed. “We don’t care how it’s done.”