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Transparency Needed over Volunteer Library Demolition

Media Release: Transparency Needed over Heathcote Volunteer Library Demolition

A lack of transparency and communication over the planned demolition of the Heathcote Volunteer Library is a real concern to the local community, says Sara Templeton, Chair of the Heathcote Valley Community Association.

Despite two years of waiting patiently for the library to be fixed and watching the minimal weather proofing deteriorate, the section 38 notice from CERA for full demolition has been a bolt from the blue. Informal talks to builders, council staff and even the CERA engineers who had visited the building led the library committee to believe that the building was repairable for well within the buildings insurance cover of $115 000.

The HVCA have asked the Christchurch City Council if they can see the engineers’ report that the demolition notice has been based on, but have been told that CCC do not have a copy of the report and will have to request it from CERA. On calling CERA, Mrs Templeton was told that the CCC held all the information and it does seem odd that they wouldn’t as any insurance company would need to see such a report before paying out on a building. However, even if it is forthcoming it will likely be too late as CCC have already signed the contract for demolition.

The Heathcote Community are keen to move on and to start planning a temporary replacement library, but are finding it hard to move forward when so little information flows from Council about the damaged library or plans for its replacement. It makes the community wary about official information and residents are left wondering if the council has an agenda to close the library and are looking for an excuse to do so. They are also concerned about the future of their badly damaged Community Centre just up the road.


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