20/07/2021 - 15:00

City, Sanur at odds over $60k building order

20/07/2021 - 15:00

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The City of Subiaco and its largest private landholder are at odds again, this time over the implementation of a $60,000 building order.

City, Sanur at odds over $60k building order
The closure of a large portion of Hay Street has been a contentious issue in recent months. Photo: Jesinta Burton

The City of Subiaco and its largest private landholder are at odds again, this time over the implementation of a $60,000 building order that found them in the State Administrative Tribunal just weeks ago.

The city and private property firm Sanur have been locked in a bitter dispute for more than four months after an engineering report revealed its buildings at 424-436 and 440 Hay Street, a site it planned to develop into a $250 million commercial precinct, were at risk of collapse.

The report prompted the city to close the section of the once busy cafe strip and engage an engineer with heritage experience to undertake a building assessment; arguing that, having been constructed in 1912 and 1921, they held heritage value.

But the prolonged closure of the street had a significant impact on businesses and the community, costing those involved a lot of money, time and stress, according to City of Subiaco acting chief executive Cliff Frewing.

The city had issued a building order to compel Sanur to stabilise the buildings and allow it to reopen Hay Street, as well as a heritage conservation notice, but the company appealed the orders to the tribunal.

Earlier this month, the tribunal ordered stabilisation works to be undertaken on 424-436 Hay Street by August 6 and remedial works on 440 Hay Street to be undertaken by September 10.

The two parties have clashed again this week, however, unable to reach an agreement regarding who should be responsible for and finance the temporary installation and hire of scaffolding to comply with the order and stabilise building 424-436.

In a statement released this afternoon, Sanur accused City of Subiaco councillors of having intervened, allegedly refusing to endorse the terms reached between Sanur and Mr Frewing earlier this month; including sharing the cost of the works.

Sanur director Cara McIntyre said the company believed it was entirely reasonable for the city to build the structure, as it was based on the city engineer’s design and was being constructed on its land.

“The cost of implementing the temporary support structure has never been Sanur’s primary concern,” she said.

“Our reasons for refusing to install it remain centred on the advice of our structural engineering consultant.”

Ms McIntyre said there were only two pathways to reopening the street in full, demolishing 442-436 Hay Street or the city building the support structure demanded by its building order.

In a statement to Business News this afternoon, the city confirmed the chief executive had met with Sanur to hear the proposal and agreed to relay it back to city staff and councillors, but that there was no reason for the city to support it.

The city has argued that by SAT upholding the building orders, Sanur has become wholly responsible for completing the stabilisation works, and highlighted that it had already presented two proposals to the company that would have allowed the road to fully reopen months ago and avoided a costly hearing.

Sanur has indicated, however, that it intends to comply with the building order for 440 Hay Street and is progressing discussions with its engineering and construction consultants.

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