Stormwater project sees house shift

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 27/02/2013

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Manawatu District Council is buying a $166,000 property in Feilding to further its latest stormwater project.

The council confirmed in a meeting in Feilding last week it is purchasingthe Seddon St property to provide the location for the 1.8-metre diameter stormwater outlet.

The pipeline will be a new link in northern Feilding's network and will divert water from the Makino Stream to the Oroua River when there's high rainfall.

A council report showed some homeowners on Seddon St had no interest in selling property, so the council approached Housing NZ about one of its properties on the street.

Council property adviser Shannon Quirke said the house would be moved off site, temporarily located on a neighbouring property, repositioned on-site when work was complete, registered with an easement and then resold.

The current tenants, a refugee family, had been moved to alternative accommodation, she said.

Council infrastructure group manager Hamish Waugh said the large pipeline would be the "backbone of the stormwater project".

"To do it without moving the house would be challenging at best, so even though it sounds like a bit of an exercise to go through, it's the quickest, easiest and cheapest way of putting the pipeline through."

Housing NZ asset development general manager Sean Bignell said Feilding's low demand for state housing meant the agency could help. Normally if local authorities required land to complete significant projects they could issue a public works notice, but not in this case because the agency was willing to sell, Mr Bignell said.

"It is not common for us to be approached by councils to acquire land or purchase our properties . . . [but] from time to time we may look to sell some of our properties where they are surplus to our need."

Councillor John Salmon asked if the process would drop the value of the property or cause future problems.

"We shouldn't need to access it a lot . . . maybe in 10 to 15 years they might need to do maintenance checks, but I don't think it will depreciate it," Ms Quirke said.

Cr Howard Voss asked if repair work was required on the house and expressed concerned about the council's commitment to sell the house, especially if it was at a lower market value.

Housing NZ said the sale was due to be concluded soon, did not include any discounts and profits would go back into the agency's work. The agency would not look to buy the property back.

Rating valuer Jason Hockly, from Quotable Value, said the property's August 2010 valuation was $165,000.

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- Manawatu Standard

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