Grass all that remains of neighbourhood

04:51, Jan 08 2013
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GONE: Cera contracts manager Tim Pow on the first completed block clearance of residential sections in Courtenay Dr, Kaiapoi.

One of Canterbury's first residential red-zoned areas has been turned into one of the region's first green spaces.

The 25,000 square-metre area in Kaiapoi used to have 23 houses, but the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes damaged the area.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) residential red-zone contracts manager Tim Pow said it was the biggest area of red-zone space that had been cleared so far and was leading the way for future clearings, mainly in Christchurch's eastern suburbs.

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BEFORE: Courtenay Dr, just after the February 2011 quake.

The Kaiapoi houses were red-zoned in August 2011, but the last of the 23 houses in the Courtenay Dr strip were not removed until late November last year.

In the first week of December, Pow and his team cleared the area for ''green spacing'' but kept native trees, clusters of bushes or plants where possible.

He said there had been a few surprises, including a trampoline buried in the ground.

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By December 21 they had sown grass and erected fences around the area.

Pow said Cera was now responsible for keeping the area maintained, including mowing the grass.

The future use of the green space has still to be determined.

The project cost $75,000.

Pow said that ultimately there would be about 650 hectares of green space in Canterbury, with most in the eastern suburbs.

The Press