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Demolition of Unsafe Buildings Following Canterbury Earthquake

( The Christchurch City Council is issuing a warrant under the Building Act 2004 requiring the demolition of two earthquake damaged Christchurch buildings because of the threat they pose to public safety.

The buildings are at 160 Manchester Street (on the corner of Manchester and Hereford Streets) and 461A-469A Colombo Street (Sydenham).

The demolition has been called for by Peter Mitchell, the Acting CEO of the Council. He will issue warrants for the demolition of these two buildings under section 129 of the Building Act 2004, which gives him power to issue a warrant where the state of the building is such that “immediate danger to the safety of people is likely in terms of section 121” of the Building Act. This requires that there be something about the building that takes it beyond being a “simple” dangerous, earthquake-prone or insanitary building. Resource consents are not required for the demolition of these two buildings.

These two buildings were among six that were discussed by the Council at a meeting on Monday of this week. That meeting was adjourned so that Council staff could prepare a further report on whether any of the six buildings present an immediate danger and to identify Council obligations and options.

Three of the remaining buildings considered by the Council were not considered to pose an immediate danger under section 129 of the Building Act 2004 and no warrants will be issued for their demolition at this time. Those buildings are at 192 Madras Street, 456 Colombo Street, 580 Ferry Road.

The Council agreed that Ohinetahi is an insanitary building under section 129 of the Building Act 2004 because of the state of the building as there is insufficient protection to prevent moisture penetration which will cause the building to become damp. No resource consent is required for this work.

The Council also noted that the current requirements regarding resource consents for 192 Madras Street, 456 Colombo Street and 580 Colombo Street and Ohinetahi for any repair work must be followed, which could result in lengthy processes. The Council has agreed that staff will now work with government departments to seek an Order in Council from the Government to address streamlining of the resource consent process for heritage buildings.

Media Release 6 October 2010 from Christchurch City Council.



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