HONIARA City is expecting a facelift soon. Since the Honiara City Council (HCC) has agreed to a planning scheme and building code, it is now a must that buildings in the Honiara’s Central Business District (CBD) must be of three levels high.
Speaking to Sam Seke of Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin Service, HCC Mayor Andrew Mua said owners must now comply with the current HCC’s planning scheme.
Mr Mua said owners were given notices to demolish their old buildings and to build three storey buildings.
“We have already served some building owners with notices last year and their 6 months-notice will lapse this month”.
“Some shops are already closed and the Council is expecting to see demolition and rebuilding of their buildings soon.”
Mua said HCC will be forced to demolish buildings where owners refuse to cooperate.
“If they don’t want to rebuild then our next option is to forfeit the land and to give it to somebody who will be able to build according to the HCC required standard.”
The Honiara City Mayor said the buildings are more than 50 years old and for some, their owners are now residing overseas. Mua said, council has the power to destroy buildings more than 50 years.
“Under section 7 of the HCC Act, Council can demolish buildings that had been around for 50 years and it is 50 years already.”
Mua said the new facelift in the CBD is important as it reflects the status of Honiara as the capital of a nation.
At the same time, City Mayor Mua revealed that HCC too will have to comply with the standard building code. Referring to the HCC head office, Mua said the council has already approved a building plan for a new complex for the HCC.
“The new complex is a 15 storey building and it will be very expensive so we are looking at going to the banks as the plan is already approved by the Executive.”
Mua said the proposed 15 storey building will be at the current site occupied by HCC as there is enough space to cater for the proposed complex.
The council’s move to upgrade its headquarter and the face of Honiara city is at the right time as the country is preparing for the 2023 Pacific Games.