Leaning facade 'worthy of protection'; demolition requires consent

A resource consent will be required before the protected facade of a South Dunedin building can be demolished.

Dunedin City Council resource consents manager Alan Worthington confirmed yesterday the building, on the corner of King Edward St and Carey Ave, did have protection under the council's district plan.

The facade of the building is included in the district plan schedule, which lists buildings assessed as being "worthy of protection because of their contribution to the character of a particular townscape or heritage precinct".

The facade was discovered late last week to be cracking and leaning.

Mr Worthington said the building was also within a townscape area, although it was not registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

Because of the protection it had, the building would require resource consent before any major change, including demolition, took place.

Whether that would be notified consent, requiring public submissions and a hearing, had not been decided yet.

A request for consent had not yet been received from the owners.

In some cases, owners suggested a notified consent, but if that was not the case, the matter would be considered and decided on by council staff.

Brocklebanks Dry Cleaners owner Roger Brocklebank said last Friday the building was more than 100 years old.

He said yesterday engineers employed had suggested the facade be demolished.

Dunedin City Council building control officer Neil McLeod said the council had not "condemned" the building, as had been reported. Instead, it had issued a demolition consent at the owner's request.

Once the owner had put up scaffolding at the building, they found it "was not as good as it could have been", and the owner's engineers had recommended it could not be easily fixed.

Demolition consent had been applied for, the documentation was in order, and consent had been given.

"The only thing now is resource consent."

NZHPT Otago-Southland area manager Owen Graham said yesterday if work was to be done, it should be no more than was necessary to make the building safe.

Mr Graham said he hoped time would be taken to consider whether there was another way of dealing with the situation, other than demolition, so there was not "total loss" of the facade.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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