THE New Zealand government has bought the site of the former Canterbury Television building in Christchurch and promised victims’ families they will still be able to visit it in the near future.
The CTV building was the deadliest site of the February 22, 2011 earthquake, which claimed 185 lives.
The collapse of the Madras Street building and subsequent fire killed 115 people.
The site has since been cleared of rubble but remains a poignant place.
It will form part of the East Frame, a predominantly residential area with green open space that will border the new CBD.
Christchurch Central Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs says those involved in the design and planning of the East Frame are “acutely aware” of the site’s sensitivities.
“That is why we have been in contact with those affected families we have contact details for – to let them know about the change in ownership and to reassure them that access to the site will not change in the near future,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
The actual use of the CTV site had not been decided, but the disaster would be reflected in any decision, Mr Isaacs said.
Victims’ families would be informed of any key decisions, he added.
Meanwhile, negotiations were “well advanced” for buying the Pyne Gould Corporation building on Cambridge Terrace, where 18 people were killed.