Dunajtschik wins Harcourts building appeal

Last updated 13:25 02/05/2014
Dunajtschik
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
Mark Dunajtschik, pictured in 2011 near the Harcourts building on Lambton Quay.

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Wellington developer Mark Dunajtschik has won an appeal against the Environment Court ruling that blocked his plans to demolish the heritage-listed Harcourts Building on Lambton Quay.

The High Court has ordered the Environment Court to rehear the case and take account of the risk to public safety if the earthquake-prone building remains as it is.

Justice Collins has also instructed it to consider demolition only if it is convinced there are no reasonable alternative.

The Environment Court made two errors of law when it dismissed the appeal by building owner Dunajtschik against Wellington City Council's denial of a resource consent to demolish the building, said Justice Collins.

The Environment Court was wrong when it said the onus on Dunajtschik was to establish alternatives to demolition had been ''exhaustively and convincingly excluded''.

It also failed to give adequate consideration to the risk to public safety and surrounding buildings.

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