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Empty homes face wrecking ball

They’ve lain empty for a decade – now, two untenanted council homes face the wrecking ball.

Divided into four council-owned units the Blenheim houses have been uninhabitable since November 2009.

But after years of playing the waiting games, council bosses have finally deemed the Andrew Place buildings “uneconomical to repair”.

Marlborough District Council property and community facilities manager Jamie Lyall says the units have subsided due to ground slumping.

“The units are not deemed fit for purpose. So rather than leave the unoccupied buildings suiting there and not being used, council is looking at options for using the space.”

The demolition, approved at a Marlborough District Council planning, finance and community meeting on Thursday, is forecast to cost $34,000 not including asbestos removal.

Currently, there are 13 properties in the MDC Senior Housing portfolio, with 172 tenanted units in total.

Now people are set to get a say in the future of the vacant block.

Council’s senior housing sub-committee chair, councillor Cynthia Brooks, says council wants to hear from Andrew Place residents, and other community members, on how the new space can be best utilised.

“This is a great opportunity to develop the space vacated by the units, into a community area that can be used by all residents.

“Fruit trees, for example, could be planted that residents could enjoy, or a lovely raised vegetable garden could be constructed.

“But we want to get this right and deliver an end product that all residents will benefit from, which is why this feedback is so important,” Cynthia says.

The demolition work is scheduled to begin in the next few with areas fenced off during this time to ensure public safety.

Feedback on the future use of the vacant space is required by 5.00 pm on Monday 20 May 2019 and can be submitted to APL Property via email: [email protected] or by phoning: 03 577 7780.

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