Red-zoned clifftop home splits in two

02:10, Apr 17 2014
richmond hill house split
TEETERING: A house on Richmond Hill above Sumner has split in two and is teetering on the edge of the cliff.

A house teetering on the edge of Christchurch's Richmond Hill is in "immediate" danger of collapsing and will be demolished today.

Part of the red-zoned house on Richmond Hill Rd split away from the rest of the quake-damaged structure today.

A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) spokesman said engineers had determined the house was in "immediate danger" of collapse and would be demolished this afternoon.

Richmond Hill demolition
DEMOLITION: A house on Richmond Hill above Sumner has split in two and is teetering on the edge of the cliff.

The demolition crew would work through the night under floodlight until the work was completed.

"The fear is that the forecast high winds tonight could collapse the house so they [are] taking precautions and demolishing it before then."

The decision to demolish the building was made "pretty much immediately", the spokesman said.

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It was not yet known whether any neighbouring residents would have to evacuate while the demolition work was underway. 

Cera bought the property under the Government's red-zone buyout offer in February 2013.

Kevin O'Connell moved out of the damaged property immediately after the February 2011 earthquakes.

He stayed in the Sumner area though and had observed his old property "quietly slumping" for some time.

"It looks like it's going to fall down the hill," he said.

A witness described seeing part of the earthquake-damaged building come away from the rest of the structure on Richmond Hill Rd today. 

Colleen Taylor, of Clifton Hill, said police arrived in the area just after 12pm.

Taylor said she was "sick of having to look at... munted" buildings teetering on cliff edges in Sumner and Redcliffs following Canterbury's earthquakes.

"If they don't do something about them someone's going to get injured."

Clink Restaurant owner Rachel Lonsdale said it looked as if the house could fall down the cliff. Her restaurant was not in danger, she said.

The Press