A fire at the Toomath’s Building (43-47 Ghuznee Street) on Sunday afternoon was contained by FENZ with no reported injuries or fatalities. A Police investigation into the cause is on-going.
Council’s engineers and the building owner’s engineers agree that demolition of the building is necessary. Council has confirmed with the owner today that the building is dangerous and has issued a direction to start demolition works as soon as reasonably practicable.
Whilst the building is heritage listed in the Wellington City Council District Plan, the safety of the public means that demolition is required.
Council officers are working closely with the owners of the building and their engineer to resolve the situation with minimal impact on the surrounding businesses and residents, but safety of the public is the top priority.
The owners are in the process of negotiations to secure a contractor to do the work.
The cordon will remain in place to protect the community. The cordon is currently Ghuznee Street from Marion to Cuba Street, and south bound traffic has no access down Ghuznee Street. Pedestrians and motorists are being diverted and advised to avoid the area if possible.
Council environmental health officers have tested for asbestos and confirm that there is currently no evidence of asbestos risk in the area.
Council staff are supporting local residents and businesses which are open in the area and may be impacted by the works.
Business and residential rubbish and recycling is being collected from outside the cordon at normal collection times.
Metlink has closed three bus stops on the bus routes along Ghuznee Street while they’re diverted until the cordon is removed. Visit metlink.org.nz for more information.
Wellington City Council’s Chief Planning Officer Liam Hodgetts says while the situation may be frustrating for local residents, pedestrians and commuters, public safety is the priority.
“Our staff are working closely with the building owners to resolve this situation as fast as possible, and while there are a lot of considerations required for such a major undertaking, we are on the right track.
“We advised the owners of the building of the absolute urgency in getting the work completed to address safety concerns and the need to reopen the road, and they are complying with our requests. We will support them in their endeavours to achieve this and the next steps.”