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The Ashburton Guardian. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1880. The Building By-laws.

TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.m.]

The Borough Council intend to reconsider the building by-laws at present in force in the town, and for that matter some of the by-laws that do not refer to building. Fancy a man being guilty of an offence if he tethers his horse on his own section ! and there are one or two other little absurdities in the Borough’s “ statute-book.” It is not difficult to remedy the mistakes that have been made in the less important by-laws, and some of them even remedy themselves —as when the Bench pronounces that certain laws are ultra vires of the Council and refuse to convict. But the building by-laws are not easily disposed of, and require some thought. As they now exist they require that all buildings henceforth to be erected in East street shall have a front wall of either stone, brick, or concrete. It would certainly be very pleasant indeed to know that the East street of the future would be made up of imposing edifices of stone or brick, and that the days of timber walls are numbered and must pass into history, but then it has to be remembered that the times are none of the brightest, that there is a marked difference between the cost of timber and concrete, stone, or brick, and that this difference of cost is a material hindrance to building. Besides, the town is young, and though in present circumstances the chief business places stand on the East street line, it is by no means certain that during the next five or ten years East street will be the business centre of the town. There is no saying in which direction trade may move, or hew soon or how late either one or other of the cross streets will contend with East street for the premier business position. It is, therefore, a question whether we are not premature in requiring the full pound of flesh in the building by-laws. This question has cropped up at the Borough Council through a request preferred by the Bank of New Zealand to be allowed to alter and add to their present building in East street, with a view to give more convenience and accommodation. The Bank, not feeling certain as to the permanency of East street as the business centre of the town, do not feel justified in erecting an expensive building at present, and would rather make the one they occupy temporarily suitable, purposing to build in a year or two such Bank premises as will be an ornament to the town. The bank building in East street is of wood, and the alterations and additions they wish to make will also be of wood if they can obtain the Borough’s sanction. The Council, as far as we can judge, appear to favor a relaxation of the laws, more with a purpose to encourage building in the township, and.thereby to find work for carpenters, than for any other reason, and their object seems to us commendable, especially as a majority of their number appear to favor the retention of party walls of brick as likely to suit all that the Council, when it framed the by-laws, meditated. At the meeting on Wednesday evening it came out in "the course of discussion that the By-law Committee had never suggested in their draft anything about the front walls of the East street buildings, but had contended solely for dividing walls being of brick or stone, but by some means or other the present building by-laws had got to be sanctioned. We favor Mr. Williamson’s idea that strong party walls are quite sufficient for all our building purposes as yet,and that it is injudicious at this early period of the borough’s history to make any law so stringent as to interfere with the town’s progress. When Mr. Williamson contended with Mr. Bullock for the Mayoralty, it will be remembered that he stated his belief that party walls of brick or stone ■would be quite sufficu nt protection for some years, and we feel sure that were a plebiscite of the ratepayers taken to-morrow its result would

show a decided majority in favor of dr Williamson’s idea. A Commit >ee of the Council has been appointed to consider the question, and we anticipate that they will recommend a considerable relaxation in the by-laws as they now exist.

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Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1880. The Building By-laws., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 230, 31 December 1880

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The Ashburton Guardian. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1880. The Building By-laws. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 230, 31 December 1880

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