Wellington City Council has advised that the owners of the fire-damaged Toomath’s Building have engaged a contractor to start demolition, with the aim if reopening Ghuznee Street early this week.
Following a fire at the building, located at 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,” it said in a statement.
“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 this week, Council said.
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,” he said.
“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.”
A Police investigation into the cause of the fire is still on-going.