Sunday, October 05, 2014

Burnt house an eyesore

from w
It's years now since the fire damaged an old wooden house in Ryrie Street, next door to one of Geelong's leading eye specialists.  So why can't the owner pull it down?

GEELONG & REGION NEWSNeighbour raises concerns over derelict Ryrie St house

·          A NEIGHBOUR of a derelict house in Ryrie St says it is unsafe and insecure, despite making complaints to City Hall. The house on Ryrie St, just east of Geelong Hospital, was involved in a spectacular blaze five years ago. The house had already been abandoned and there had already been complaints about squatters.
Neighbour Helen Cant has lived next door for some years, and said it had not been easy. She said she had written another letter to Geelong city council recently and the council had said it would write to the owner again asking him to ``make good’’
The owner Rex Harding, who lives across the road from the dilapidated and burnt out house, said at the time of the blaze that he had experienced problems with people jumping the security fence and entering the house. But he denied at the time neighbours’ claims that squatters often frequented the house.
Ms Cant said she was very scared earlier in the week with the strong winds.``There was a piece of roofing on the second storey that was flapping around in the wind,’’ she said. Ms Cant showed the Geelong Advertiser a picture taken last week of two pieces of iron hanging from the second-storey roof. She then showed the same area later this week, with one of the pieces of roofing iron missing.``I have no idea where it went,’’ she said.``This is not good enough. Young people are in there all the time and it is very dangerous.’’
Ms Cant has a collection of items that have landed on her side of the fence, and constantly lives in fear for her stained glass windows that face the ruined house. She showed the Geelong Advertiser at least two points where it was possible to gain access to the property through the security fence.
``The security fencing is not secure and it doesn’t keep people out,’’ she said.
At the time of the blaze authorities believed the fire had been deliberately lit.
Geelong city council had raised the question of needing more powers to deal with eyesores such as this property and The Ritz at the State Council of the Municipal Association of Victoria. The city’s planning general manager Peter Bettess said the council had reissued a building order on the owner of the burnt-out building in Ryrie St, directing him to carry out minor works on the property. Mr Bettess said the reissued building order directed the owner to secure the property, including materials on the site, and address some issues with the security fencing.
He said that under the existing state legislation, ensuring that the property was secured was the extent of council’s powers in this matter.
336 RYRIE St was built in 1914 for Valentine Noreda and was heritage-listed for its original Edwardian style design qualities.The house was associated with famous local architect I.G. Anderson in the early 1920s, who was believed to own the house for some time. 


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