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Lyttelton Business Recovery update April 9 by Andrew Turner

I attended a Civil Defence briefing on Friday, at which it was confirmed by John Hamilton, the National Controller, that three Lyttelton buildings are expected to be signed off by the National Controller’s office for immediate demolition. These are 24 London Street (The Harbour Light Theatre), 6 London Street (The former No.6 Café), and 9 London Street (The Empire Hotel). This is as a direct response to our comments and questioning relating to these buildings preventing speedy economic recovery of London Street, and an understanding on the part of Civil Defence that the removal of these buildings will allow recovery of other businesses to take place. It has been confirmed that it is expected these buildings will have demolition works completed by 19th April (prior to Easter). It then remains the aim for the remainder of the Lyttelton demolitions to take place after Easter.

A question was also asked in the same meeting regarding the financial implications of Civil Defence initiated demolitions. I further clarified this by further questioning at the end of the meeting. The response from Civil Defence National Controller John Hamilton is as follows:

The preferred situation is for the building owner and their insurer to have made arrangements and to have agreement regarding the cost of demolition prior to demolition taking place. If this is not the case, Civil Defence will take responsibility for the demolition work, then seek to recover this cost from the insurer. In the case where insurance is insufficient or non-existent, then recovery of these costs will be sought from the building owner. Where this is not possible, then a lien over the property will be taken, to be settled on subsequent sale of the property or the land. This differs somewhat from the original presentation we received from Chris Kerr, where it was implied that Civil Defence would cover demolition costs. It now has been clarified that while this may initially be the case, these costs will be recovered as above.  It is possible for the building owner to request a preferred demolition contractor, this through Chris Kerr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other information:

1. The Lyttelton Library has now reopened, and is operating normal hours from Friday of last week.

2. There will be a public meeting to discuss Lyttelton’s recovery. This is hosted by the Lyttelton/Mt Herbert Community Board and will take place at the Recreation Centre on Winchester Street, at 730 pm on Monday 11th April. It would be good to see as many facets of the community as possible represented at this meeting. There will no doubt be much discussion as to the aspirations of the community and individuals as regards development of the Lyttelton CBD, which will be of interest to Lyttelton business owners and building owners. If you are unable to attend, please email me your thoughts so that they can be included in the feedback gained through the meeting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or directly to the community board This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It is intended that one of the outcomes of the process started in this meeting will be a recovery plan for Lyttelton, which can be presented to the new Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) which it is expected will be formally created by enabling legislation in Parliament on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing you at Monday’s meeting and hearing the views of the community on Lyttelton’s recovery.

Andrew Turner, Chairman

Lyttelton Harbour Business Association

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. M: 021 1593100

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