Cracking under the pressure

THE demolition of an aged care facility in Leederville allegedly caused up to $100,000 damage to surrounding houses but, two years on, no one is taking responsibility.

Residents near Rosewood Care Group�s building said they felt �shockwaves� when the demolition took place in 2013 to make way for Rosewood�s new facility.

�There were shockwaves, it was like an earthquake,� Leederville resident Bernard Rumens said.

Rosewood chief executive Mario Zulberti said Rosewood contracted Buckingham Redevelopment Company, which in turn contracted Di Trento Demolition to carry out the demolition.

�As far as I�m aware affected residents were advised to contact their own insurance companies in order to facilitate and initiate the claims process,� Mr Zulberti said.

�To the best of my recollection the matters have been settled.�

Buckingham Redevelopment Company sent a letter to residents advising them to lodge a claim for damage using the company�s policy number, however Leederville resident Faye Caldwell said when she tried to lodge a claim she was told the policy number did not exist.

Buckingham did not return phone calls or email requests for comment.

�What has annoyed us most is that nobody wants to accept liability,� Mr Rumens said.

�All these houses around the site have cracks in them now.

�No one came out to fix them or offered to fix them.�

Mrs Caldwell said in order to demolish Rosewood�s previous aged care building, the demolition team had to rip up a deep concrete base.

�They were unable to smash the floor in the usual way because it was double the thickness of normal base,� Mrs Caldwell said.

�So they lifted it up, using a machine, as high as they could and dropped it so it smashed into pieces.�

Di Trento Demolition signed a City of Vincent application for the demolition permit in 2013 that stated it would not be using any equipment that could cause damage by vibration or settlement to surrounding houses.

A Di Trento Demolition spokesman said he was absolutely certain that the company�s machines did not cause the damage to nearby houses.

�I can tell you 110 per cent it wasn�t from us,� he said.

Vincent chief executive Len Kosova said the City now had a routine practice of enforcing pre and post construction dilapidation reports of houses close to redevelopments.

He said that would have helped residents validate their claims of construction-related damage, had enforcing dilapidation reports been common practice two years ago.

�Residents would need to make a civil claim under common law to pursue any compensation for damages,� Mr Kosova said.

�Having said that� the City is now reviewing the relevant legislation to determine the extent of our legal jurisdiction in this regard and the enforcement action available to us to more formally pursue the matter.�