Uninsured land gets Govt offer

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 11:42 13/09/2012

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The Government has offered to buy uninsured and vacant land in the residential red zone at half its rateable value.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced offers to owners of vacant and commercial land within the flat-land residential red zone, as well as residential properties that are uninsured.
 
Similar properties in the Port Hills will be addressed later.
 
Today's announcement affects four categories of land and ownership within the residential red zone - 65 parcels of vacant land, 50 uninsured properties that were occupied at the time of the February 2011 quake, 22 insured commercial-industrial buildings and six insured houses on leasehold land.

"We have decided to assist the owners of these properties by giving them the option to sell their land to the Crown at half the most recent rateable value," Brownlee said.
 
The owners of 50 properties in the flat-land residential red zone that do not comply with the Crown's insurance requirements will also receive offers.
 
 "If owners decide to take this offer, the land and any buildings on it will become the property of the Crown from the settlement date,'' Brownlee said.
 
"What the owner chooses to do with any buildings on the land up until that day is entirely up to them."
 
There are 22 insured commercial buildings in the residential red zone. The land these buildings sit on is not covered by Earthquake Commission insurance as it is not residential.
 
"The ongoing value of the land is significantly reduced due to earthquake damage," Brownlee said.
 
"In order to aid recovery and support the objectives of the residential red-zone process, it has been decided to also make an offer to the owners of these properties.
 
"This offer will entitle the owners of the 22 insured commercial-industrial properties to a similar choice as those owning insured residential properties. 

''The price offered for these properties will be the most recent rating valuation for the improvements and half the most recent rating valuation for the land under option 1, or half the most recent rating valuation for the land under option 2."
 
The other category in the flat-land zoning process addresses six insured homes on leasehold land.  These are all in the Waimakariri District.
 
The standard Crown residential offer will be made for these properties, but the offer will be conditional on the lessee entering into an agreement with the Waimakariri District Council for the purchase of the freehold interest in the land.
 
Vacant-land owners will be required to settle within six weeks of accepting the Crown offer or April 30 (or June 30 if the property is in Southshore), whichever occurs first.
 
The final settlement date for all other categories of properties will be April 30 for most areas, with the Southshore red zone being June 30.

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To date the Government has sent offer letters to 6479 insured residential properties on the flat land in Greater Christchurch, 15 insured residential properties under construction and five insured properties owned by not-for-profit organisations.

- The Press

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