New Regent St fence being removed

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 12:43 29/11/2013
New Regent St fence
Stacy Squires

COMING DOWN: The safety fence, which has been partially blocking the northern end of New Regent St, will be pulled down within a matter of days.

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Shopkeepers on one of Christchurch's most picturesque streets are thrilled a safety fence that has been partially blocking the street since June could be pulled down in a matter of days.

Five units in New Regent St owned by the same Christchurch family have not been restored and are boarded up awaiting repair.

They are causing problems for retailers as they are unsightly and two have been deemed earthquake prone, meaning a safety fence has been erected at the northern end of the street.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) this week reached an agreement with the owners of the five properties to complete strengthening work on the two prone units and remove the fence.

A Cera spokesman said ''it appears an arrangement is now in place for the fencing to be shifted in the next few days.''

New Regent Business Association chairman Dan Joines said the agreement was ''big'' for the street.

Retailers are keen for the fence to be removed in time for a Christmas festival on December 7 featuring a band and street performers.

''The owners have agreed to get on with the work. I have been working on this for a couple of months. It is big. We really want the fence down for the festival so the street feels complete,'' he said.

The Wizard, who has made New Regent St his new base of operations in the city centre, also welcomed the move.

''That means a tremendous amount for the street,'' he said.

''It looks terrible and blocks up the shops. It is very important for the street and I am very, very pleased.''

It is understood that Helen Thacker is the building owners' representative. Property records show Joan Patricia Thacker owns the five unrestored units.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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