Injunction to stop building's demolition thrown out

10:08 pm on 23 October 2010

The High Court has dismissed a last-ditch bid to prevent the demolition of the Manchester Courts building in Christchurch.

The seven-storey building was damaged in the magnitude 7.1 Canterbury earthquake on 4 September.

The council ordered its demolition, and work started on Tuesday, but a group of conservationists had been trying to block the move.

A group of heritage advocates sought a High Court injunction to halt the work, but it was thrown out on Saturday afternoon.

Their lawyer argued the building had not posed an immediate danger to people's safety, so the demolition order should not have been made.

He said residents had not been properly consulted on the issue.

But a lawyer for the building owner said demolition work had weakened the building even further and the court action was too late.

Justice Chisholm said he was satisfied the unstable building had posed a danger to people and property.

He agreed the injunction was too late and said he had to think of the 40 businesses which cannot reopen until the building is demolished.

That process is expected to take six weeks.