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Residential red-zone properties that have been a "blight on the landscape" will be demolished in a more coordinated approach to ward off vandals and ensure deadlines for house removals are met.
The decision announced today between private insurers, the Canterbury earthquake recovery authority and the earthquake commission would see flat land red-zone houses sectioned into 15 areas throughout greater Christchurch. They ranged from South Shore to Kaiapoi.
Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said the approach to demolitions so far had been "scatter gun" and meant trucks were constantly moving back and forth between areas and disrupting the lives of those living on the fringes of the red zone.
Insurance council chief executive Tim Grafton said the approach would combat vandalism, arson and other anti-social behaviour that worried residents.
"These houses have been a bit of a blight on landscape."
Sutton said about half of the 7000 demolitions had been completed and the new approach would ensure all were completed by the end of next year.
Not all houses in the red-zone flat land would be demolished - about 300 had been relocated to other green zone properties, he said.
The plan had not been enacted earlier because of the number of people still living in red-zone properties and the stress it would cause seeing their community destroyed around them.
Now there were areas where no one was living so it made sense to move in a more geographically efficient manner which had always been the plan, he said.
"For people it's still a really difficult time."
One home on Evans Avenue in New Brighton was demolished to start to program. Two more homes in the area would be demolished in the coming days and the area will be grassed by Christmas.
Grafton said all properties with private insurers would be completed by the middle of next year.
To see a map of the clearance areas, click here.
TAKE A 3D TOUR OF THE RESIDENTIAL RED ZONE
- © Fairfax NZ News
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