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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A formal Order and Clean Up Notices have been issued to the owners of properties at 4, 6, 10 and 12 Cross St Brookvale to ensure the safety of the community, environment and surrounding buildings.

Among other things, the Notices require the preparation of a detailed Clean Up Plan including requirements for the lawful transportation and disposal of all asbestos and any other hazardous material and the engagement of suitably qualified people to carry out such actions.

Unauthorised access to the site remains prohibited for safety reasons.

The formal orders can be viewed at the links below:

 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Last week Council issued draft Clean Up Notices to additional properties at 6, 10 and 12 Cross Street Brookvale which were also impacted by the fire.

The draft Notices contemplate the preparation of a Clean Up Plan, engagement of suitably qualified people to carry out actions from the Plan and certification on completion. Unauthorised access to the site is not permitted for safety reasons.

As outlined previously below, Council has issued these Notice in draft form to allow representations to be made by the building owner. Council will relevantly take submissions into account before determining whether to issue final Notices.

The initial Emergency Order, draft Order and draft Notices can be viewed at the links below:

 

Thursday April 18 2019

Northern Beaches Council, Mayor Michael Regan and Member for Manly, James Griffin met this week with the business owners of Rent A Space to discuss the situation following the devastating fire at the storage unit at Brookvale.

They made strong representation of the tenants concerns and advocated the need for a robust communications plan moving forward.

Council has served a draft Order and proposed Clean-Up Notice to the building owners for the 4 Cross St property this week which are anticipated to be finalised in the coming weeks.

At this stage, there remains no requirement for immediate demolition of the building.

The standard processes for notices of this type is to provide them to the affected party as a draft to allow them to make any representation to Council before the final documents are issued.

Queenscliff Beach will reopen Friday 19 April following precautionary water testing that has taken place since the fire incident.

 

Tuesday April 16 2019

Council served a draft Order and proposed Clean-Up Notice to the building owners for the 4 Cross St property yesterday which will require a range of ongoing actions to make the site safe and healthy.

The Order and Notice considers reports provided by expert structural engineers and occupational hygienists engaged by the owner. Proposed requirements include a detailed works and clean-up plan, safety fencing, containment and disposal of containments such as asbestos and the prevention of unauthorised people from entering the premises given the safety risks.

At this stage, there remains no requirement for immediate demolition of the building.

The standard processes for notices of this type is to provide them to the affected party as a draft to allow them to make any representation to Council before the final documents are issued. The final Order and Notice are expected to be issued within a week.

The original Emergency Order remains in place until the new orders are issued (see update 5 April below) as they relate to public fencing and other community containment measures which need to be adhered to in the meantime.

Council as well as the Mayor and other Councillors, continue to meet with representatives of the building tenants at their request to understand their concerns and provide clarity on the role Council can play.

Queenscliff Beach and rockpool and Manly Lagoon remain closed as a precaution and ongoing water testing is being conducted.

 

Friday 10 April, 2019

Council has notified the building owner of our intention to issue new Orders which will require a range of actions to make the site safe, now and into the future.

The Orders will be in consideration of reports provided by expert structural engineers and occupational hygienists engaged by the owner and are likely to include ongoing site testing, a clean up plan and certification on completion.

Council’s priority is to protect public health and safety and prevent environmental damage.

At this stage, there is no requirement for immediate demolition of the building.

We recognise this is a difficult time for many in the community who had items of sentimental and financial value stored at the facility. The Mayor and Council staff have met with several representatives of the building tenants to clarify Council’s ongoing role and provide reassurance that the interests of the tenants are being considered in each step of the process.

Queenscliff Beach and rockpool and Manly Lagoon remain closed. Water testing in ongoing.

 

Friday 5 April, 2019

The site of the fire in the storage unit at Brookvale has now been handed over from emergency services to the building owner.

Council has been working with emergency services to manage the impact of the fire on the surrounding area. This also included managing the impact of runoff into Brookvale Creek which runs into Manly Lagoon and Queenscliff Beach.

The Queenscliff Beach and rookpool and Manly Lagoon remain closed as a precaution and Council continues to test water samples. The beach and lagoon will be reopened as soon as possible.

Due to the severity of the fire and at the request of NSW Fire & Rescue, Council issued an Emergency Order on 30 March. This was on the advice from the State Emergency Engineer that the building was structurally unsound and in danger of collapse. The order gave permission to enable the partial or whole demolition of the building if required, to enable Fire and Rescue to safely extinguish the fire. Ultimately, the fire was extinguished without the need for demolition during the emergency phase.

What is an Emergency Order?

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Council can issue an emergency order where there are circumstances that a building can become a danger to persons or property in the neighbourhood.

This removes the need for other processes otherwise required such as formal development approval.

Why did we issue an Emergency Order at the Cross St site?

Council received advice from Senior Officers of Fire and Rescue NSW that the fire could not be extinguished and the building would require partial or whole demolition to enable the extinguishment of the fire.

The building at 4 Cross Street, Brookvale, sustained considerable damage as a result of fire and it was posing a danger to persons and neighbouring property. (ie. firefighters could not safely extinguish it without access).

What are the terms of the Emergency Order?

The terms of the Order required the partial or complete demolition of the fire damaged building to enable the extinguishment of the fire at the direction of emergency service personnel.

It also required the engagement of a structural engineer, occupational hygienist and where necessary an Asbestos Control Plan to ensure public safety.

Safety fencing and signage is also required under the Order.

Are emergency services still involved?

On Thursday 4 April, Council was advised by Fire and Rescue NSW that the fire was extinguished. As the building is no longer classified as an active fire, the building was released back to the owners. The property is now the responsibility of the property owner.

Will affected customers be able to get access to their possessions?

Safety will always have to be the first priority. Access to the building or surrounds will be dependent on engineer and hygienist recommendations and will be managed by the building owner.

What are the next steps for Council?

As the building has been released to the owners, Council’s focus is on public safety – ensuring the owner takes all the necessary steps to keep the site and surrounding areas safe. If changes to Orders are required they will be issued as needed.

Council also remains involved in ongoing water testing and environment protection as needed.

Has the fire affected other surrounding properties on Cross Street?

It is understood that these building have been affected by the fire and are currently being assessed to determine if they are safe for the public.

 

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