Fire Service advised council to reject Loafers Lodge consent in 2007 documents show

5:21 pm on 22 May 2023
Loafers Lodge fire in Wellington

Loafers Lodge on Adelaide Road in the Wellington suburb of Newtown Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Archive documents show in 2007 the Fire Service advised the council to reject the Loafers Lodge consent, citing issues with fire compliance.

The documents come in the then-owner's application to extend the existing apartment building.

Documents from 2007 show the Fire Service did not agree with a fire report which was satisfied it met building code.

"This opinion is completely unsupported," the service said.

"How does the proposed design satisfy the performance requirements?

"No discussion or analysis is provided that demonstrates that compliance with anything, let alone the Building Code, has been achieved."

It goes on to say "there is simply no justification provided to support the proposal, and the submission does not demonstrate that any level of safety has been provided, with no comparison to the level of safety that would be required by the Building Code".

It said issues about non-complying aspects of the fire alarm were identified in 2005 at the time of original consent.

These included that the building was "treated as having two separate escape routes, but compliant access to the stairwells not provided".

But it said no documentation had been provided to address the problems.

It said an argument on the basis of "reasonably practicable" should not be accepted when the issue was identified previously and should have been addressed at the time.

External engineers were consulted and the council was satisfied the inquiries raised were adequately addressed.

Requirements in the compliance schedule included that three month checks of smoke detectors be done.

The building had passed all building checks at the time of the fire.

It did not have a sprinkler system, but was not required to by law.

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