House of horrors
A NOTORIOUS, neglected house could soon be facing demolition with complaints about the dilapidated structure piling up.
Testing has revealed there is asbestos in the burnt-out Manilla house, and concerns have been raised about children entering the property where “there is a prevalence of drug-taking paraphernalia present”.
The house at 24 Northbrook Ln has been an eyesore for Manilla for a while, with the building sitting in a state of disrepair since 2011, according to neighbours.
Council will consider a proposal to knock down the fire-damaged house at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday.
The demolition will come at an undisclosed cost, but council will endeavor to recover costs from the owner, who has been unreachable.
General manager Paul Bennett said council waited long enough for a response from the owner.
“In the interest of the community, rather than waiting further for a response from the property owner, if the report is endorsed council will attend to this work and seek to recover the costs from the owner,” Mr Bennett said.
“Once the appropriate procedure is followed, the land may be sold to pay these costs.”
Manilla resident and failed-council candidate Warwick Lindsay exposed the neglected property at a meet-the-candidates forum in late August.
“How long does it take?” Mr Lindsay asked.
Mr Lindsay still has concern about asbestos laying on the site for a number of years.
“My deep concern is whether the asbestos has leeched down into the ground,” he said.
Manilla-based councillor Jim Maxwell said no one has raised concerns with him about the house.
Cr Maxwell said a number of positives could come out of the potential demolition including “getting rid of an eyesore and a potential health risk” and freeing up a block of land in town.
Property law specialist and Everingham Solomons director Terry Robinson said the council had powers to order the demolition of buildings if there were public health and safety issues.
“Under the Local Government Act, councils are entitled to sell land where rates haven’t been paid for in five consecutive years,” Mr Robinson said.
The money collected for the sale would go towards unpaid rates, the cost of demolition and any restoration work the land might need to go through.