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Friday, February 15, 2013

Minister Brownlee on TC3 options, solutions and values

Gerry Brownlee issued a media release today congratulating those who have been working on viable options for speedier building on TC3 land. Also mentioned is the issue of property values in TC3 areas.

The release reads (original here):

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today offered praise and thanks to all those who have worked so hard to create viable options and speed up the delivery of solutions for Christchurch residents on Technical Category 3 (TC3) land in greater Christchurch.

Mr Brownlee was speaking at the pouring of a new concrete foundation solution on a TC3 property in the Christchurch suburb of Hoon Hay.

The new foundation system was developed by Firth and involves sitting the floor construction on the ground rather than in it. The system has taken eight months to develop to ensure it is a viable option for home owners who need new foundations for their Technical Category 3 properties.

“I’m very pleased there are companies trying to make being in TC3 an easier, affordable option for home owners.

“I know there is still much frustration in TC3, but there is also ample evidence that things are moving in a positive direction on a number of fronts,” Mr Brownlee says.

“I think it’s important that people remember exactly why we designated technical categories of land across greater Christchurch.

“A huge amount of geo-technical science had identified significant differences in Christchurch’s soils and their propensity to liquefy in the event of major earthquakes.

“It would have been irresponsible not to provide guidance to how that science should be responded to,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Everyone should be pleased to note that the market is readily responding to that guidance.

“Property values in TC3 haven’t slumped, sales are regularly occurring, and options are coming to market for lighter weight dwellings and appropriate foundations to suit the land.

“While short term frustration in TC3 was unfortunate, and I know not everyone is out of the woods yet as insurance settlements are clarified and building options are explored, all land zoning was done with long term interests at heart,” Mr Brownlee says.

“We simply couldn’t have property prices slump and major question marks exist over the long term quality of so much of Christchurch’s housing stock.”

There are around 28,000 properties on TC3 land but only those with foundation damage, or home owners who wish to construct additions to their home, will need to consider stronger foundation systems.

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