Decontamination needed before hospital site cleared

Remedial work will need to be done on two buildings with asbestos and mould issues before work begins on clearing the future site of Dunedin Hospital.

It was confirmed last week that the former Cadbury chocolate factory would be the site of the  main building of the new Dunedin Hospital.

However, remedial work would need to be done before demolition on the site began, the Ministry of Health - the owner of the land - said.

Two derelict buildings on the site had issues with asbestos and also mould, and they would need to be decontaminated before demolition and site clearance works began, a Ministry spokeswoman said.

"These buildings are not part of the main Cadbury factory site and have not been used for some years," the spokeswoman said.

"The possibility of asbestos in these buildings was known prior to the Ministry taking over the site."

A trailer belonging to a decontamination firm was parked on the site over the Christmas-New Year period but no work has been carried out to date.

"The site remains closed off to the public and the remediation work is being carried out in a way which eliminates any possibility of public exposure to the asbestos," the spokeswoman said.

Last week, hospital rebuild chairman Pete Hodgson said the majority of the buildings on the Cadbury site would be demolished, but it seemed likely that the recently restored old dairy building would survive.

Geotechnical issues with the land had delayed the site master plan for the hospital after a survey caused uncertainty whether the Cadbury site was suitable.

However, those issues have been resolved and the project will go ahead in its preferred design, with the inpatient block on the former factory site and day surgery and outpatient facilities on the land now occupied by Wilson Parking, Work and Income, a University of Otago hostel and various commercial premises.

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