Builder: council knew of plans
The builder of a museum display at Balclutha, who cut into a war memorial wall, is adamant that the Clutha District Council knew of the plans, and says he is being blamed because of the council’s ‘‘lack of communication’’.
South Otago Historical Society chairman Kevin Barron has been asked by the council, in a formal letter, to account for his actions in cutting an entrance into the Balclutha War Memorial Hall’s roll of honour wall last week, to accommodate an off-site museum display under construction in a former boardroom.
In his written reply to the council, Barron says the building consent, along with plans and specifications were lodged, paid for, and approved by the Clutha District Council, and had been ongoing since June.
The building consent states: Create an accessible doorway into existing boardroom, with a plan of an entrance alongside the monument.
In summary, Barron says:
His correspondence communicates the intention, and was not an ‘‘omission’’ on his part as the council alleges.
Any ‘‘sensitivity and significance’’ around the monument was never discussed by anyone involved in the project.
He made it clear in the plans that the memorial wall would have to relocated from its present position at the Balclutha i-Site entrance to accommodate the doorway.
Councillors had a chance to comment: ’’If all these people do not have the ability to inquire, question and seek out answers until after the event, I cannot take res- it would cost about ponsibility for inadequacies,’’ he states.
Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan says:
Because it is a war memorial, the community, stakeholders, and in particular the Clutha District RSA should have been consulted prior to any consideration being given to the wall being altered.
While the granting of an exemption to work on the exhibition their space is not in dispute, or the quality of the work, he and councillors had no knowledge of the hole until after it was cut.
The council has asked for reinstatement of the wall if it remains in its current location, or restored ‘‘in an appropriate fashion’’ if it is re-located somewhere else within the town hall.
It is understood discussions are ongoing.
The doorway cut into the wall at the Balclutha War Memorial Hall, which is causing a dispute.