A partner in “crime” on the 22 March 2011, when we breached the red zone cordon, Bruce Williamson, owner of the Ministry Niteclub sent me an email this morning telling me of his troubles with the CCC getting building consent.
He is very angry, frustrated and tired of the red tape and hoops the CCC is making him jump.
There is a beautiful photo of him standing in front of an armoured personal carrier on the bridge on Worcester street. This is Christchurch just in case you thought we were in Afghanistan.!
“I have 2 consents going through at this time, one for a refit and change of use at my Victoria St premises, and the other for what remains of my Lichfield street building, where I have been endeavouring since February to have some control of my own destiny.
In Lichfield St I now have 40% clear land (at hugely inflated cost – see you in court, CERA) and 60% of the land still carrying the ground floor only of a building that could get quickly be brought up to 67% code and returned to generating revenue and restoring an entertainment venue to the city. The vacant 40% is to be turned into a courtyard garden bar for a few years
Now, we come to consenting.
Between Feb and August the retained ground floor suffered very little damage (from weather or from quake)
In August we removed the first floor (the alternative was to lose the entire building to CERA) and the risk became the weather.
Can we put a simple truss roof on top, properly engineered, and to be included as part of the later full consent for the building? “No, Bruce, of course not! Not until your entire consent is approved”.
To stabilise the building while the 1st floor was removed we had a stack of shipping containers erected alongside. Every time a crane appears the bill is in the four figures. The containers were purchased so that they could also be the basis of our temporary “container bar”.
Can we put down a simple concrete footing, properly engineered and with photo record, and place the containers into their desired positions to form part of the consented plan? “No, Bruce. Of course not! Not until your entire consent is approved”
So s …. you ratepayer, we don’t really care how much more damage your building sustains, nor how much unnecessary expense, because you are not The Court Theatre, and you are not Ballantynes.
Am I past caring? Pretty much. Take as many years as you want to get your damn city running again, CCC, including the restoration of a facility that would in its own little way have helped keep young people here, by providing weekend entertainment.”
He sounds rather weary, frustrated and at the end of his tether. I know how he feels. It seems that repairs in the CBD are not encouraged. They prefer to demolish. I will post a picture of his building if I can convince him to send me one.