CONCERNS: Little Keen St residents, in front of the house planned for demolition, are (from left) John Trapp, Tony Gilding, Jade Bening with baby Loretta and Django Bening.
CONCERNS: Little Keen St residents, in front of the house planned for demolition, are (from left) John Trapp, Tony Gilding, Jade Bening with baby Loretta and Django Bening.

Demolition drama brews in street

PLANS to remove an old house in Little Keen St are causing concern among residents who say the developer is acting without council approval and has been removing asbestos sheets without appropriate safety precautions.

But Lismore Council's development and compliance manager Peter Jeuken said the asbestos on the site "doesn't pose a significant risk, provided the site is fenced", which he said would happen on the day he was called (Tuesday).

The owner of three rundown houses at the top end of the street has lodged a DA to remove one of the houses and extend the access of the adjoining commercial businesses on Dawson St, including extra car parking for a car rental business.

The houses in Little Keen St are in a commercial zone. The DA was lodged late last year and amended recently, and will go out for public comment again before any work can go ahead.

But one resident, John Trapp, said demolition crews arrived on February 27 and attempted to start work. When he tried to intervene, things got heated and the police were called.

"This is one of the oldest streets in Lismore. I think the houses are historically significant and we'd like to stop the vandalism of the street," he said.

But a heritage report to Lismore Council says the houses are "dilapidated extensively" and that "it appears that demolition by neglect has once again trumped".

A spokesperson for the developer (who didn't wish to named) said the crew that attempted to work on February 27 were doing preliminary work to remove the balcony, which was unsafe. He said no further work would go ahead until the DA has been considered and that any asbestos removal will be done in accordance with all OH&S regulations.

Mr Jeuken said the owner is "undertaking an assessment of the repairs required to the other two houses" before determining how to proceed for those.



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