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Council assistance for frequently flooded properties

Council assistance for frequently flooded Flockton properties

The Council is stepping in to help Flockton property owners who've had frequent above-floor flooding, where their flooding has been worsened by the earthquakes, and the $48 million Dudley flood mitigation schemes will not offer a timely reduction to their flood risk.

The Council will work with these property owners to determine the most appropriate, cost effective option for their property, which might be reducing their flood risk through localised drainage works or house raising, or the Council may offer to purchase the property. A purchase offer would be voluntary.

If a purchase offer is deemed the most appropriate intervention, for most properties, the land would go back on the market. In some cases, the sale may be delayed until flood mitigation works reduce the risk. Any new house or development on the site would need to meet the floor level requirements of the Building Code and the replacement Christchurch District Plan.

Over the past two days, the Council has contacted seven property owners in the Flockton/Dudley Creek area believed to be eligible for this assistance.

Flockton is the first area where this policy is being applied, having been through a long process of investigation and flood mitigation design.

"This has helped us understand which properties will benefit from the planned area-wide mitigation in a timely manner, and which still face the risk of frequent flooding," says Keith Davison, the Council's Land Drainage Manager.

This same process will be followed in other high risk flood areas across the city, and the same assistance offered to any eligible property owners there.

The process will take time to complete across all of these areas, Mr Davison says.

"At this early stage in investigations for areas other than Flockton / Dudley Creek, it is too early to say exactly how many homes will eventually need, or be eligible for, intervention," Mr Davison says.

"We are fast tracking flood investigations to understand the risk, prioritise those most at risk, and develop sensible area-wide solutions that offer the most benefit, to the most people. We've committed large amounts of funding and resource, but it will take many years to implement the flood mitigation works across these priority areas."

Information packs are being delivered today to property owners in the Flockton/Dudley Creek area to help them understand the policy, and what the Council is doing in this area to reduce flood risk to pre-earthquake levels. They will be offered one-on-one meetings with Council staff to ask any questions they might have about their property.

"We're also committed to keeping people in other flood risk areas up-to-date on what we're doing in their area, and we will continue to work with these communities to understand their flood risk, and design solutions to reduce this risk for them," he says.

To be eligible for the assistance:

• The property must be residential and within the Christchurch city urban area.
• The habitable floor (excluding garages, laundries, sleep outs and utility areas) is at risk from a one-in-ten year flood event, (a flood that has a 10% chance of happening in any given year) as confirmed by Council modelling and a survey of the floor level.
• The earthquakes have worsened the flood risk - assessed by eligibility by Council flood modelling.

The policy excludes tidal/coastal inundation flooding. Homes will not be eligible if catchment works will eliminate the risk of flooding to habitable floors in a 1-in-10 year rainfall event; or they are to be rebuilt; or foundation repairs will see the floor level raised to comply with the Building Code.

The policy will be funded from the Council's Land Drainage Recovery Programme budget.

ENDS

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