City to demolish Belchers Corner Building

In the interests of public safety, the City of
Greater Geelong is stepping in to carry out the demolition of Belchers Corner
building in central Geelong.

The City has notified the administrator appointed to
the owners’ corporation that due to continued breaches of the Emergency Order
and to maintain public safety, the City will be taking over control of the site.

Works are scheduled to start Sunday 12 January 2020
with securing of the immediate area prior to the actual demolition commencing
shortly after.

According
to a report from independent civil engineers, the building is currently being
held stable by the temporary measures in place, and does not pose an immediate
safety risk to the community.

However,
it remains unable to be occupied or restored due to the severe concrete cancer
running through the entire building.

Engineers
will continue to monitor the site over the next month as preparations begin for
demolition.

The
demolition will take approximately 12 to 14 weeks, with works expected to be
completed by the end of April 2020.

Traffic management will be in place during the
works, including partial road closures on Ryrie and Moorabool streets.
Through-traffic will be maintained at all times.

Once
complete, the site will be a flat gravel area with secure fencing. The vacant lot
will remain the property of the owners’ corporation.

The City continues
to investigate all options for recouping the costs it has and will continue to
expend in discharging its responsibilities to maintain public health and safety,
including pursuing civil and criminal proceedings.

The
following comments are to be attributed to City of Greater Geelong Director
Planning, Design and Development Gareth Smith:

It is disappointing that the owners of the Belchers Corner building
have been unable to comply with the emergency orders placed on this property.

In light of
the continuing breaches, the City has stepped in to protect the safety of the
community and move the city forward. Public safety continues to be our number
one priority.

The City
will seek to recoup the stabilisation and demolition costs from the owners’
corporation.

We will continue
to provide updates about any impacts on public areas during the works,
including footpath and road access. We have commenced communications with the
owners’ corporation through the appointed administrator and are communicating
directly with traders surrounding the site.

We are keen
to see this matter resolved and look forward to future possibilities for the
site.

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