7 Mar 2014

Fate of Hamilton landmark in dispute

8:59 pm on 7 March 2014

A Hamilton church says it has no choice but to demolish an historic building that is unsafe, because it cannot afford to earthquake strengthen it.

The Environment Court will be asked to decide whether Euphrasie House should be saved, after the Hamilton East Community Trust appealed against the city council's decision to grant resource consent for its demolition.

Euphrasie House.

Euphrasie House. Photo: SUPPLIED

The landmark building, a former convent, is in Clyde Street in Hamilton East.

The Catholic Diocese of Hamilton's general manager, Greg Schmidt, said the trust's estimate of $4.1 million to strengthen and outfit the building is grossly understated and the church cannot afford the $7 million it will actually cost.

Mr Schmidt said the church will save a historic chapel and hall.

The Ministry for the Environment's Environmental Legal Assistance Fund Government has awarded the community trust $38,000 to help with its fight.

Trust chair Lois Livingston said people who do not want demolished are outraged.

"This community really looks after its heritage and wants it retained for the future so for the Catholic church to want to pull down this iconic part of the Hamilton East landscape is appalling."