The Council has a three-step approach in dealing with sites that are considered to be barriers to the regeneration of Central City. These sites are referred to as barrier sites.

If left unrepaired they can lead to negative perceptions of the city for visitors and investors and, in some cases, they disrupt the operation of the transport network.

We also want to encourage action to tidy up cleared vacant sites and gravel car parks. Litter, unmanaged vegetation and unmaintained hoardings paint a poor image of the city and undermine perceptions of personal safety, especially at night. 

The Barrier Sites are separated into two categories:

  • sites where intentions are yet to be confirmed or are subject to insurance disputes and
  • sites with a commitment to action

Sites are considered to have a ‘commitment to action’ where plans and intentions for restoration and/or redevelopment are conveyed to the Council or plans to action a site are in motion i.e. project scoping.

Each Barrier Site has its own complex issues and so the decision as to whether it is removed from the Barrier Sites Programme is a judgement of the owner’s current intentions and actions. The types of matters that the Council will take into consideration include whether or not consents have been granted, whether works have commenced and whether the building owner has demonstrated reasonable progress in fulfilling a commitment to action.

The table below shows the way we will work with owners. The emphasis is on providing support and assistance. As a last resort, fees and enforcement action will be considered. 

Action, investment and regeneration

Dialogue, support and incentives
  • Direct contact and dialogue
  • Promoting existing incentives
  • Advisory support
  • Brokering
Adding pressure
  • Apply existing fees and charges
  • Review and adapt incentives, fees and charges
  • low-level enforcement
  • Promotion and engagement
Enforcement and regulation
  • Remediation notices
  • Abatement notices (including the ability to act and recharge cost)
  • Greater CHCH Regeneration Act (Power to undertake works, direct owners and acquire land)
  • Regeneration plans 

We define barrier sites as: 

  • Unoccupied buildings which are in a very poor state of repair.
  • Cordoned sites and/or buildings which encroach into public footpaths or road space that affect traffic and pedestrian movement. Cordoned sites include those where propping or containers are used to support damaged buildings.
  • Sites where foundation work is required and which need to be fenced off for public safety.

This work is currently focused on Central City. An initial list of 30 properties(external link) was identified and, as progress is achieved, sites may be removed or re-categorised. A number of new sites have been added. 

The table below shows current sites and their status as of December 2020. The next update will be in March 2021.

Key progress during the September to December period includes:  

  • 96 Lichfield Street (Living Space) was removed from the Programme with building works well underway to strengthen and convert the building for guest accommodation use. 167-169 Hereford Street (Hereford Chambers) has also been removed from the Programme. Repair and strengthening work is substantially complete, removing the fall hazards on Hereford Street and Tramway Lane.
  • 210-214 Tuam Street (Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers Building and Odeon Theatre) progressed to the ‘commitment to action list’ following the recent purchase of the buildings by Environment Canterbury. Environment Canterbury have outlined plans to repair the Lawrie and Wilson building for office use and options to strengthen the Odeon theatre façade continue to be explored.
  • 141 High Street (Duncan’s buildings) progressed to the ‘commitment to action list’ following the sale of the building to a new owner who has plans in motion for restoration.
  • 226-234 Cashel (former IRD premises) progressed to the ‘commitment to action list’ following the sale of the building to a new owner who has plans to utilise the building for a research and healthcare facility.
  • 235 High Street (former Hunters and Collectors) progressed to the ‘commitment to action list’. Hoardings have been installed to improve the safety and visual appearance of the building and the owner is in dialogue with the Council regarding plans to strengthen the building. 

Sites with a commitment to action (15) 

Street Number Also known as
Armagh Street  119 Former PWC Building 
Lichfield Street 92 Sargoods
Madras Street 216   
Oxford Terrace 159 Our City 
Oxford Terrace 170 Former Rydges Hotel
Tuam Street 179  Sol Square (part) 
Victoria Street 91 Victoria Mansions
Worcester Street 116 Kaplan / State Insurance
Cambridge Terrace 79 Bradley Nuttall Building
Hereford Street 159 Malvern House
Gloucester Street  249 Former Stonehurst Hotel/Motel 
Tuam Street 210-214 Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers Building/Odeon Theatre
High Street  141 Duncan's Buildings 
Cashel Street  226-234 Former IRD Premises 
High Street  235 Former Hunters & Collectors

Sites where intentions are yet to be confirmed or are subject to insurance dispute (6) 

Street Number Known as
Cambridge Terrace  137 Harley Building
Cashel street 170 Former Holiday Inn
Hereford Street 161 Hereford Suites
Manchester Street 112–114 2 Fat Indians 
Peterborough Street 25  Peterborough Centre / Apartments 
Manchester Street 205 Blue Jean Cuisine