Protection needed for Sims building, council critic says

Since its asbestos-based roof was removed by the Dunedin City Council last year, the century-old Sims Building in Port Chalmers has been exposed to the elements. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Since its asbestos-based roof was removed by the Dunedin City Council last year, the century-old Sims Building in Port Chalmers has been exposed to the elements. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A critic of the way the Dunedin City Council has handled the former Sims Engineering building in Port Chalmers says more needs to done to protect the historic building while a use is found.

Last week, the council announced it was open to expressions on interest for the century-old brick building.

Port Chalmers resident Bill Brown said he supported the council's plan but it needed to reinstall the roof which was removed last year, exposing the building to the elements.

''It was virtually the start of a demolition process on a historical building which should have never been done and I hope they've now acknowledged it's a building worth protecting .''

Mr Brown said he understood why the roof needed to be removed, but it should not have been done so quickly.

He was confident a community use for the building would be found.

''Hopefully it will arouse some interest in the building and the importance of retaining a significant part of Dunedin and Port Chalmers maritime history.''

Last week council infrastructure and networks acting general manager Leanne Mash said if a use for the building was likely to take two or three years to come to fruition, the council would consider some type of temporary roofing.

But no council money would be made available for the building's restoration, as no strategic use for the building had been identified, Ms Mash said.

Council property manager said David Bainbridge when asbestos was identified as an hazard, an operational decision was made to remove it.

Timber from the roof was contaminated and was disposed of with the asbestos sheeting, Mr Bainbridge said.

The work cost $215,000.

Comments

Pull it down, Port Otago have already ruined that corner and the building is good for nothing. Let's not waste more money on it, there are better projects to spend the money on. Alternatively give it to Port Otago on condition that they restore the building to a least look half decent. That is if they can find a use for it!

Port Otago won't want it. It was the Otago Harbour Board that "gifted" it to the then Port Chalmers Borough Council in the first place.