Small slips behind retirement home

Frances Hodgkins retirement home, above Forbury Rd, in St Clair. Photo: ODT.
Frances Hodgkins retirement home, above Forbury Rd, in St Clair. Photo: ODT.
Rain last week brought down small parts of the cliff immediately behind Frances Hodgkins retirement home, above Forbury Rd, in St Clair.

Neighbours had been informed of pending remedial work to be done by owner Ryman Healthcare. Ryman’s Dunedin management referred comment to  spokesman David King, who said there were no injuries, but some debris had "carried through" to a property in Forbury Rd during the July 21-22 downpour.

Some remediation work to the bank below the retirement home was planned, he said from Christchurch.

"We have arranged with the neighbour to clean it up once it has dried out," Mr King said.

He was unable to estimate how much debris fell, as it was still too wet to remove.

He said as a precaution, one residents’ lounge was closed and one resident was moved from her room during inspections, but the lounge had reopened and the resident was back in her room.

When asked about the findings of the subsequent geo-tech report, Mr King said the engineers were happy that Ryman’s neighbours and residents "were not at risk".

"The building is perfectly safe to occupy, but the report recommended remedial work just to make sure," he said.

In February last year a  church next to the home, Rymans, also under the cliff, bolted in place unstable rocks  and shotcreted an exposed layer of volcanic ash, as erosion protection.

Earlier, Ryman also had parts of the vertical cliff face  ring-bolted and shotcreted. Mr King said geotechnical engineers  had put together a plan for some preventive maintenance work to ensure the bank below the rest home remained stable.

"This will continue through to the summer. The better the weather the easier it will be to carry out the work.

The work would include "soil nailing", whereby rods were inserted through the lower bank to the rock beneath and a wire cage would be installed over the bank to reduce slip risks.

"We’re also planting the bank to stabilise the topsoil," he said.

Mr King confirmed there was one minor slip in the same cliff area previously remediated by Ryman and the debris was contained by a rock fence, next to the church on Fenton Cr.

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