New $12.5m plan to reduce flooding and erosion in coastal Christchurch

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After nine years Christchurch City Council has agreed to a $12.5m plan to reduce flooding and erosion in Southshore and South New Brighton.

David Walker/Stuff

After nine years Christchurch City Council has agreed to a $12.5m plan to reduce flooding and erosion in Southshore and South New Brighton.

A $12.5 million plan to prevent erosion and reduce the flood risk for 450 coastal Christchurch homes has finally been given the go-ahead, nine years after residents first called for action.

City councillors unanimously agreed on Thursday to push ahead with a series of measures to stop flooding and erosion along the Avon Heathcote Estuary edge in Southshore and South New Brighton.

Two bunds will be built, including one in Southshore beside an existing bund.

A second will be constructed up to 100m from the estuary edge along South New Brighton Park, between the jetty near Beatty St and the southern end of the camp ground in Halsey St.

* More money approved to protect Christchurch suburb from flooding
* Council finally agrees to repair earthquake damage along Christchurch’s Avon Heathcote Estuary
* Coastal Christchurch residents plead for urgent earthquake repairs

The bunds will together cost $6.1m and will protect the 450 homes – at a cost of almost $28,000 each – as well as the campground and recreational facilities in the park.

The earthquakes caused some land along the estuary edge to drop, increasing erosion and the risk of flooding. Trees and plants have died along the estuary, leading to more erosion.

The council plans to deal with the problem by constructing a cobble beach to restore the estuary edge, which is among other measures that will together cost $6.4m.

A staff report said there were no perfect options that would both resolve all the historical issues and address future risks in the area that were also affordable and acceptable to the community.

Southshore resident Tim Sintes is urging speedy action to mitigate further erosion and tree-fall in the South New Brighton domain. (First published in 2016)

The solutions allowed a line to be drawn under the earthquake legacy issues and for the community and council to move forward, the report said.

Following a decision last year, the council has already made some improvements to the northern part of the estuary walkway.

Construction is already complete on the southern section of a bund in South New Brighton, between Bridge St and South New Brighton School.

Work on the northern section of the bund will be finished in 2021 following the bird-nesting season.

Southshore Residents’ Association spokeswoman Meg Roulston said the community had been through a long nine-year journey of dealing with damage, rubble and a lack of repairs.

The association supported the work being done, but Roulston urged the council to prioritise the funding this year rather than put it in the 10-year budget, which will be finalised next year.

Some $11.6m has already been allocated in the draft long term plan, but the council will need to find an additional $900,000 to complete the work.

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