11 council units in Dallington closed

CLOSING: The Biddick Courts city housing complex.
CLOSING: The Biddick Courts city housing complex.

A Dallington housing complex has been partly closed after an engineering inspection revealed two buildings were at risk of "brittle failure" in an earthquake.

Eleven of 16 units in the Biddick Courts complex were closed today after a detailed engineering evaluation revealed two double-storey blocks were at only 19 per cent of the new building code.

Engineers said the buildings in the complex, owned by the Christchurch City Council, were at risk of "brittle failure" and would possibly not stand up to a quake.

Land damage at the site had also contributed to the problems with the buildings, the council said.

Residents had been advised of the closure today and given a week's notice to leave, and the council would rehouse tenants in other units it owned across the city.

Council community services general manager Michael Aitken said he understood the closure would upset residents, and staff would help tenants to find another property as soon as possible.

Five units in a single-storey block in the complex had been assessed at 100 per cent of the code, and residents there would be allowed to stay.

Aitken said the council would carry out full damage assessments of the buildings, including the development of repair and strengthening options.

The Press