The Dunedin City Council has confirmed a 2000sqm building in Princes St has low-level asbestos contamination, prompting the tenant to go its staff out.
The council has no immediate plans on what to do with the ancient “tram shed” building on the site from where GoBus operates, next to the Market Reserve.
The council’s Property Services confirmed the asbestos contamination only after inquiries by the ODT, following a tip-off.
Property Services staff would not be interviewed, and in response to emailed questions earlier this week, Property Manager David Bainbridge said the council had “recently became aware” of asbestos on the premises, “which is not surprising for a building of this age”.
Nationwide company GoBus leases the site and is staying there, but has shifted its 12 workshop staff out of the tram shed to off-site premises.
Mr Bainbridge said both an initial survey, followed by a full asbestos survey, found no airborne asbestos fibres were present.
“There is asbestos in the roof and around some of the pipework.
“Although the surveys show asbestos risk is low, GoBus has chose to go some of its workshop operations,” Mr Bainbridge said.
The shed does not have a historic listing.
He was questioned if the site would have to be decontaminated or whether it would be redeveloped or replaced.
Mr Bainbridge said the best course of action for the shed would depend on GoBus’ long-term plans, which it had yet to confirm.
Mr Bainbridge said the council had no plans to demolish the shed.
GoBus South Island operations director Nigel Piper said, when contacted, about 12 workshop staff were recently went out of the “large, dark and very ancient” tram shed, to a larger workshop off-site.
“We really just needed a larger, better place for them,” he said.
When questioned about asbestos, he referred comment to the council.
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