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Timeball Station dismantling to start

27 May 2011

Timeball Station dismantling to start

Work on dismantling Lyttelton’s Timeball Station is expected to start from Monday (subs: 30 May) with the arrival of cranes on the site, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) said today.

Already considerably affected by the September and December 2010 earthquakes, the Timeball Station was severely damaged in the 22 February quake. On 4 March the NZHPT announced that the iconic landmark would be dismantled and Lyttelton residents in the immediate area around the site were advised of the planned work by hand-delivered letters today. Non-resident owners will receive a letter shortly.

NZHPT Chief Executive Bruce Chapman said the dismantling process is expected to take 12 weeks. The cost of the project will be covered by insurance.

“With a job like this it’s not possible to be certain about the time required, but it will be done as quickly, carefully and with as little disruption for local residents as possible,” Mr Chapman said.

“It has taken time to get the necessary consents for the work to be done, but we have prepared a plan that should allow the safe and secure dismantling of this historic building, while giving us the best chance of having building materials that can be reused in the future.

“Throughout the planning and approval process we have focused on safety first – including how to get cranes on site. The resulting plan reduces the risk to people working on the site, while allowing the Timeball Station to be taken down in a way that minimises damage to the building fabric.”

Resource consent and archaeological authority requirements have been met. A 3D scan of the building has also been completed providing an accurate record of the building remains.

“It’s been a complex process, and that is reflected in the time taken to get us to this point, but this is a unique case,” Mr Chapman said.

It is the NZHPT’s hope that the Timeball can be restored in some way to its position above Lyttelton Harbour, not only for its historic significance, but also for the Lyttelton community who have lost so much.

Updates of the dismantling work will be available on Facebook under ‘Lyttelton Timeball Station’.

ENDS

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