Following a fire at the Toomath’s Building (43-47 Ghuznee Street) on Sunday afternoon, Council’s engineers and the building owner’s engineers agreed that demolition of the building was necessary.
Council issued a dangerous building notice requiring urgent works for public safety to the owners of the building on Wednesday 18 October.
Whilst the building is heritage listed in the Wellington City Council District Plan, the safety of the public means that demolition is required.
The proposed methodology from the owners is to put scaffolding up to provide enough support for the building to return it to at least the structural state prior to the fire. This should allow the fencing to be brought hard back against the containers and allow the road to open early next week. Manual demolition should then be able to start with as little disruption to the road as possible. A digger will be placed at the rear of the building for removal of materials.
Wellington City Council’s Chief Planning Officer Liam Hodgetts says Council officers have, and will continue to, work closely with the building owners, stakeholders, engineers and contractors to ensure the best result from a challenging situation.
“We know this situation has been frustrating and inconvenient for many Wellingtonians, but we have stressed the absolute urgency in getting this work done to the building owners, while also protecting our community and minimising disruption to the area.
“Council will continue to monitor the works, but the proposed demolition plan addresses our concerns. We are particularly pleased with the rapid response in which our staff and the owners have achieved this solution.”
The contractor has appropriate health, safety and noise/dust suppression plans in place however as with any construction, there will be some disruption in the area.
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 staff are communicating with and supporting local residents, Body Corps 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.
A Police investigation into the cause of the fire is still on-going.
If you have any information that may assist Police please contact Police on 105 or online via www.police.govt.nz/use-105 using update report, please reference file number: 231015/6874.
Alternatively you can report any information anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.