Historic Plunket building could go

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 08:10 17/05/2012

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Lyttelton's historic Plunket building appears set for demolition.

The Sumner Rd building, owned by the Christchurch City Council, was badly damaged in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes.

A council report on the building, to be discussed by councillors today, has recommended that the building be demolished.

The report said the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority had issued a demolition notice for part of the site.

However, engineering reports had revealed ''extensive structural damage'' to the whole building, which meant it could not be affordably repaired.

Lyttelton residents were aware that demolition was an option for the badly damaged building, the report said.

While the building was not heritage-listed, there were ''historical elements'' that would be saved.

The building's foundation stone, the entrance gate and a memorial plaque were among the items that would be retrieved before demolition started.

A decision on whether to rebuild on the site would be made as part of the council's facilities rebuild plan, the report said.

The Lyttelton branch of Plunket was founded in 1921.

Plunket team leader Liz McClure said the organisation knew the building was too badly damaged to be repaired.

''Obviously we're very sad to see it go, but for safety's sake, you have to do what's right.''

She said the Lyttelton branch was operating out of the old dental clinic at Lyttelton Main School, having retrieved some equipment from the building.

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