Hell’s teeth, there must be a better way of finishing this damn building. My advice to any Heritage Building owner in the country is: Don’t even consider repairing your building. Certainly not under the conditions of an emergency repair like we have had to face. The bureaucracy is endless and getting more expensive by the minute. It is not worth it. Either pull it down or walk away. (There do not appear to be any penalties for walking away, as has been clearly shown in Christchurch).
We are finally on the last leg of a very slow and long process. The rebuild of a toilet block. 18sq metres. Last week I applied for an Amended Building Consent to demolish/rebuild our very old not too flash “lean-to” toilet block.
It is a 1930’s – 1940’s classic New Zealand lean-to. (Think third world). We suspect it was built by the apprentices of the Butcher who previously owned the building (Franklin).
Off to one side of this very attractive structure is a very old toilet. I will not embarrass ourselves by showing you the photo.
Anyway, not only do you have to apply for an amended building consent to build a new toilet block, you get to be really lucky if you own a “rare” Heritage Building in Christchurch, (and I can safely say that, as CERA pulled them all down, there are not many left) you also have to apply for a Resource Consent. (To prove that you are not destroying precious history. She says with a smirk on her face).
I have just been issued with a Section 37. Well, I suppose that is a change from the Section 38 that CERA gave us in 2011. ( A section 38 is “Make safe” issued by the Government).
When I had finished laughing about the Section 37, I see that it is a DO NOT Demolish or proceed with any building work. The irony, with the Section 37, is that it comes with an expensive price tag of a minimum of $1200 for a non notified resource consent and up to $7500 for a notified consent. I have yet to figure out which one the powers that be will charge me. Note: received a preliminary Invoice today 25/8/16 of $2500 (5% of the total build cost of this toilet block) This is as close to extortion as you can get. Note to self: I should not have propped it up and I should have demolished it earlier like every other building owner in the city did.
Section 37: Chapter 9 Natural and Cultural Heritage: 9.3 Historic Heritage: Rule – 184.108.40.206.3 Restricted Discretionary Activities – Heritage Items and Heritage Settings – High Significance (Group 1) and Significant (Group 2)
The proposed works for the demolition and construction of an addition are within the heritage setting for the Duncan Buildings a listed significant Building (Group 2) and these works will require consideration as a discretionary activity.
So which one do I obey? The original Section 38 to make the area safe or the new Section 37 to NOT make the area safe. Hope someone makes up their mind soon before the structure falls down. In fact, if I undo that prop on the back wall I won’t have a problem will I ?? tempting.. One more shake should do it for me…..
The sad thing about all this is that they are chucking all the hurdles they can in our way, while the rest of the absentee owners surrounding us have walked away and abandoned their properties. In 6 years neither CERA/CCDU/Otakaro/CCC have made any attempts to deal with this issue.
The Law really is an ass.
Crazy city, totally messed up.
p.s. have a look at this video clip about:
Christchurch Dilemmas: How to rebuild the city’s heart
I was at a meeting where James Lunday spoke in 2011, he basically said then that they were stuffing the city up by pulling everything down. How right he was. He also told CERA to naff off in no uncertain terms. (sanitized version) (It was a pleasure to watch then and still brings a grin to my face now 6 years later).
“Urban designer James Lunday visited the red-zoned central city immediately after the earthquakes in 2011 and has been returning to Christchurch in the years since. He sees the rebuild as a huge opportunity for the city.”
He also comments that “We’re still building a 20th century city – built for the car, wide streets, and no activity.”
He is so right!
PPS: It is flaming near impossible to get into High Street at the moment, it is a shame that we were hoping to open up our pop up shop in the first week of september. FultonHogan/CCC are yet to give me an expected finish date. Do not hold your breath…..
Note: The reappearance of the historic tram tracks. Do you reckon they got a Resource Consent to take them out???? I doubt it.