Thirty-two submissions opposing the demolition of the heritage building at 1 Victoria Ave have been lodged with Whanganui District Council.
Principal planner Hamish Lampp said as well as the 31 opposing submissions, there was one neutral submission to the application by Karantze Holdings for resource consent to demolish the Thain's building on the corner of Victoria Ave and Taupō Quay. Submissions closed on Tuesday, May 22.
Karantze Holdings, a family company whose partners live in Napier, has applied for demolition consent to improve the prospect of selling the property to someone who wants to develop the site.
The three-storey unreinforced masonry building is severely earthquake-prone at 5 per cent of new building standard (NBS) and the ground floor was flooded in the June 2015 floods. The cost of seismic strengthening has been estimated at more than $1 million.
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Lampp said the next step would be to appoint an independent commissioner or commissioners and organise a hearing date.
"The independent commissioner(s) will be appointed by council officers, based on experience and qualifications relevant to the subject matter," Lampp said.
"A hearing provides an opportunity for submitters who wish to speak to their submission to present to the commissioner(s). The applicant will also speak to their application at the hearing. Following the hearing, a decision is then made by the commissioner(s)."