It looks like planners helped to kill people in Christchurch. From the ongoing Christchurch inquiry:
The building at 605- 613 Colombo St, … was green stickered following the September earthquake. The Boxing Day aftershock caused much more significant damage to the building, and it was red-placarded. [On February 22 it killed four pedestrians and crushed eight passengers on a bus.]
Consultation between the owner and its engineers resulted in a decision to demolish the building but, because the building had a heritage classification, the city council required that the demolition application be a notified consent application. This process would have taken some months.
There was no protective fencing in front of the building at the time of the February earthquake.
Ann Brower, a lecturer specialising in regulations [who was pinned under rubble on the bus], said: "There's some irony in the fact that it was a failure in regulations that nearly killed me and which did kill those closest to me [on the bus].''
…[T]he collapse of the facade of the building at 603 Colombo St killed Joan Weild, 76, and Graham Weild, 77, and Israeli backpackers Ofer Levy, 22, and Gabi Moshe Ingel, 22, who were walking in the street nearby.
The heritage classified building was severely damaged following the September earthquake and was yellow-stickered. Following Boxing Day, it was red-stickered. Make safe works were to be completed before January 31 2011.
But no make-safe works were completed on the building and instead a decision was made to demolish it. As this building was also heritage classified, the process involved a notified consent, which was to take months…
An entirely avoidable tragedy.
[Hat tip Julian D.]
UPDATE: That was then: Here’s Councillor Frau OberGruppenFuhrer Sue Wells speaking out on CTV after the first quake to tell building owners, sorry to ORDER building owners, that they may not even THINK about demolishing their dangerous buildings, not without the express, explicit, paid-for permission of one her grey ones. The bitch.
And now? … “‘An engineer lashed out at city council processes for being “too time consuming” at the Royal Commission of Inquiry today, after paperwork delayed the demolition of a red-stickered building which later collapsed in the February quake – killing four people…’