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The demolition of a historic building at 546 Great King Street in Dunedin, once the site of Scribes’ bookstore, has sparked a lawsuit.
According to a district court judge, the cost of demolishing the “irreplaceable” historic building came to just under $30,000.
The figures were split between Dayniel Ltd and Gary Todd Architecture Ltd, which were charged with “misunderstanding” in Dunedin District Court on Tuesday.
Target building Known to locals as Scribeis named after a decades-old antiquarian bookstore just one block from the University of Otago.
Built in the late 1870s, it is listed as a Historic Landmark.
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Dunedin City Council had given the developer consent for the demolition, but the company was legally required to notify Heritage NZ so that the historically significant features could be documented.
However, neither company did. A Heritage NZ spokesperson said he didn’t know about the demolition until one-third of the work was completed, by which time it was too late to save the building.
Rundell Cottage is on history buffs’ must-see list during Wellington Heritage Week. (The video was first published in his October 2020).
The company was found guilty of altering the site without permission and fined the company up to $120,000.
Dayniel Ltd (owned by developer Tony Tan) owned the site but was fined $3250 less than Gary Todd Architecture Ltd for a total of $13,000.
According to the Otago Daily Times, the judge found neither Daniel nor GTA Ltd, whom he hired in 2020 to help with the development process, including the demolition, willfully broke the law.
Instead, their lack of action was blamed on confusion, misunderstandings, and assumptions.
GTA Ltd were fined more because they had been notified in writing that they were required to notify Heritage NZ of their plans.
Since the proceedings began, Danielle and GTA Ltd have donated $15,000 to the University of Otago for scholarships for graduate students to catalog Dunedin’s pre-1900 buildings.
Christine Whybrew, acting director of Heritage NZ’s Southern Region, said the organization was disappointed but said the educational outcomes were ideal.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/otago/130854123/developers-prosecuted-for-demolishing-former-bookstore-in-heritage-building.html A developer who demolished an old bookstore in a historic building is indicted