Unauthorised church wreckers face prosecution

DEMOLISHED: The unauthorised demolition of Sydenham Heritage Church in central Christchurch could result in prosecutions.
DEMOLISHED: The unauthorised demolition of Sydenham Heritage Church in central Christchurch could result in prosecutions.

The unauthorised demolition of a historic church in central Christchurch could result in prosecutions, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says.

Yesterday it was reported that the Sydenham Heritage Church, on the corner of Colombo and Brougham streets, had been demolished without the consent of the owners or Civil Defence.

The Sydenham Heritage Trust, which owns the building, said it did not find out about the demolition until the church had been torn down.

The Civil Defence national controller's office, which must authorise all quake-related demolitions, had not been contacted before the church was destroyed, and Christchurch City Council said it had not ordered the demolition.

Southern Demolition director Alan Edge said it had demolished the church "under strict instructions" from the council.

At a media briefing yesterday, Mr Parker said the council had begun an inquiry into the unauthorised demolition.

The Press