Build­ing own­ers given no­tice

East and Bays Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land Coun­cil is ex­pect­ing chal­lenges from own­ers of build­ings iden­ti­fied as earth­quake­prone.

Own­ers of around 1800 earth­quake-prone build­ings in Auck­land can ex­pect let­ters, no­ti­fy­ing them of their build­ing’s sta­tus, from Novem­ber.

Build­ing own­ers that have had their build­ings as­sessed as earth­quake-prone will be able to either ac­cept the as­sess­ment and be added to a na­tional reg­is­ter or un­der­take a pri­vate as­sess­ment within a year.

A build­ing is deemed earth­quake-prone if its seis­mic strength is as­sessed as less than 34 per cent of the de­sign stan­dard for a new build­ing in the same lo­ca­tion.

Auck­land Coun­cil ex­pects it could face sev­eral chal­lenges from build­ing own­ers.

This could in­clude own­ers who had not been pre­vi­ously no­ti­fied, own­ers who bought with­out re­al­is­ing its sta­tus, build­ings with more than one owner and build­ing own­ers who re­fused to dis­play a re­quired earth­quake-prone no­tice.

In 2014 econ­o­mist Ian Har­ri­son re­leased a re­port show­ing strength­en­ing old Auck­land build­ings to the re­quired 34 per cent stan­dard would cost $3 bil­lion.

Auck­land Coun­cil man­ager of build­ing consents Ian Mccormick said Auck­land was a low seis­mic risk zone and be­ing con­firmed as earth­quake-prone did not mean the build­ing was un­safe to oc­cupy or use.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board had about 795 earth­quake-prone build­ings, the most in Auck­land with the next high­est in Al­bert Eden Lo­cal Board area hav­ing 381.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board mem­ber Ver­non Tava, who has the her­itage, ur­ban de­sign and plan­ning port­fo­lio, said there was no cause for panic.

‘‘We don’t want peo­ple to be alarmed or to feel they can’t con­tinue work­ing in or own­ing or sup­port­ing a her­itage build­ing be­cause of the strength­en­ing,’’ Tava said.

‘‘We want her­itage to be pro­tected as best as pos­si­ble.’’

When the is­sue first reared its head there was a lot of fear mon­ger­ing, but it was of­ten a lot less se­ri­ous and ex­pen­sive than peo­ple thought, he said.

It could take up to 15 months to is­sue let­ters to own­ers and strength­en­ing had be done within 35 years from the date the no­tice was is­sued.

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board mem­ber Ver­non Tava is speak­ing with con­cerned build­ing own­ers.

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