AN ELEVENTH-hour call has stonewalled the proposed demolition of a much-maligned house in Manilla, as the property’s owner finally comes out of the woodwork.
Tamworth councillors were due to vote on a proposal to demolish a fire-damaged property on Northbrook Ln at their meeting on Tuesday night.
The item was pulled from the agenda at the last minute when councillors and council staff were contacted by the property’s owner after The Leader revealed council was proposing to demolish the house “in the interest of the community”.
Council general manager Paul Bennett told media at Tuesday night’s ordinary meeting the owner of the property had finally made contact.
The property owner also phoned The Leader ahead of the meeting in the hope of saving her house.
She claimed she was distressed by the demolition plans and lived away from the area.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) said it has been trying to contact the owner since March, 2015, to no avail.
Council also engaged a “process server” to locate the owner, without success.
An ultimatum was issued to the owner by council in August, 2016.
The owner had until October to respond, in co-operation with council, they would have had a period of three months to demolish the property.
If there was no response, council said it would proceed to demolish the property at a cost to the community.
Mr Bennett said earlier this week “residents of the Manilla community have long been seeking resolution on this matter.”
The GM also said Manilla residents would be pleased action could be taken to remove the dwelling which was “beyond repair”.
Council has been “in receipt of of numerous complaints regarding the condition” of the Northbrook Ln house, according to TRC’s most recent business paper.
According to the report, which was to be considered in closed council, testing revealed the dwelling “contained fire-damaged asbestos”.
“This dwelling has been left abandoned for some years and has been severely damaged by fire,” the report said.
“This dwelling is in such a dilapidated state that it is prejudicial to the health of the public.”
TRC and the Northbrook Ln property owner were contacted for comment but did not respond.